In my 21 years as a solopreneur, I’ve learned that when I focus on my customers’ pain and customer gains, I’m more likely to create niche businesses, products and services that people actually want to buy.
Below are questions I use to think of ways to eliminate customer pain. (For a superb, in-depth treatment of this topic, get “Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want.”) These questions work for me, and they’ll work for you, too.
What products and services can you create that:
• Produce savings in time, money, or effort?
• Make your customers feel better by eliminating frustrations and annoyances?
• Put an end to your customers’ difficulties and frustrations?
• Get rid of social consequences that your customers fear?
• Eliminate risks your customers fear?
• Address big issues or eliminate worries?
• Limit mistakes that customers make?
• Eliminate barriers that are standing in the way of your customers?
Here’s a brilliant niche business that hits at least five pains on the list: Send A Package, which removes the hassle of sending care packages to inmates.
But this is very important: products and services don’t have to relieve every pain that customers have — no product or service can do that. It’s easier to concentrate on a few pains that you can alleviate well.
Not All Pains Are the Same
A pain reliever can be more or less valuable to the customer.
Essential pain relievers create a lot of value, while “nice to have” pain relievers do not. As a result, essential pain relievers are more profitable.