I was watching Shark Tank on TV the other night and got treated to watching the “Sharks” in a rare feeding frenzy. For those of you not familiar with the show, entrepreneurs pitch their ideas before a panel of successful, wealthy business owners (the Sharks), requesting investment dollars in exchange for a pre-determined return.
In this particular episode, a team of three guys had solved an everyday problem with one simple, inexpensive widget: the Paint Brush Cover. Honestly – which of us hasn’t painted a room and had that stinkin’ paint brush dry out every time we stopped for a Coke or a beer? It’s an annoying problem that we either put up with or fight with plastic wrap or other messy, sticky things.
Well, these guys were professional painters, and they didn’t like it either. But unlike the rest of us, they figured out a way to solve the problem – and now they’re going to be rich.
The Sharks saw its value immediately. Each of them has successfully built a business – many businesses – and could see the potential of this small gadget. They were falling all over each other, salivating, each scrambling to top the other’s offer and get these new entrepreneurs on board. It was great TV.
But there’s an important lesson to be learned here. These painters did something so simple, so basic to starting a profitable business, it’s a good reminder: Business is all about solving problems. It’s about finding out what people need, and then providing a unique and satisfying way to meet that need.
Are you wanting to start your own business, but don’t know what to base it on? Start listening to people. Pay attention to what they’re complaining about. What are they frustrated by? What makes them annoyed? What challenges to they have? The louder the grumbling, the better your chance of creating a successful business solving it.
Think about it. If you could just solve that “one problem.” Now. Decide what that problem is, and go start a feeding frenzy with your awesome solution.
[Image by jscreationz / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.]