What problem are you solving?

Every business that has ever been started was set up to solve a problem so we need to be clear as to what that problem is. The three things we need to consider is What is the problem, how do we want to fix it and why does it matter? 

Let’s take supermarkets which as you know is something I’ve spent a lot of my time working in. Is every supermarket set up to solve the same problem? You could say that they are all there to supply the needs of their customers with a range of goods.

When my father set up our family retail business he had come from many years of doing the same for a national retailer. His experience was supplying a wide range of products at competitive prices to as many people as possible.

After a while he realised that the problem we were trying to solve in a neighbourhood store was different than the one he had been solving before. Where price used to be an important factor in the large supermarkets, what was now more important was convenience.

Back in the mid nineteen eighties, stores that stayed open seven days a week and early til late were few and far between. Our store was closed on Sunday’s and only traded for half a day on Wednesday which wasn’t particularly convenient. 

After a weekend trip to the seaside, not to sit on the beach but to visit so called convenience stores, we took the decision to open 7 days a week from 8am til 8pm. We were now not going to compete on price but convenience and serve our customers in a new way. 

Nowadays we are used to having many stores that are open all day everyday to serve our every need. That problem has well and truly been fixed, the challenge for many convenience store operators is which problem now needs to be fixed.

When you are clear on the problem you are solving it make it lot easier to market your business so you attract those clients that have the problem you solve.



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