Find critical issues when starting a business

Find critical issues when starting a business

Founder's Copilot

This template helps you identify customer issues that are worth solving from a business perspective

This template can help you if...

you're experiencing challenges in discovering profitable ideas. It often feels like a lengthy and resource-intensive process to find these money-making ideas. Additionally, gathering sufficient data for informed decision-making can be tough, and you aim to avoid relying solely on instincts or gut feelings.

You will be able to...

use a step-by-step guide in this template to identify your potential clients' problems and needs. If you follow the guide carefully, it can make the process much shorter—from months to just one week. This way, you collect enough data to make better decisions and avoid wasting time on unhelpful options.

In 4 easy steps

  1. Create a list of ideas!
  2. List the questions you seek answers to.
  3. Connect with your future potential buyers.
  4. Find and prioritize the answers.

Let's Start!

Step 1: Create a list of ideas!

Challenge yourself to dedicate a morning to generate a minimum of 30 ideas!

Please remember that SaaS solutions typically succeed by digitalizing recurring processes and guiding users to follow these processes. In general they offer online platforms or software that empower users to access, manage, and automate repetitive tasks or workflows.

To inspire you, think about the following:

  • Past Job-Related Issues: Think about your past job experiences to find problems that happened more than once.
  • Consider what your colleagues frequently complain about at work to gain insights into the recurring issues they face professionally.
  • Recall personal negative experiences as a customer to uncover potential business opportunities.
  • Is there a hobby or personal interest of yours where you feel there's a need for a more organized solution?
  • Which of your strengths could be organized in a way that benefits other businesses?
  • Which trends are happening and think how these could solve certain recurring issues.
  • Use Generative AI in combination with niche markets. An example of prompt you could use: "Which innovative SaaS solution could help digital nomads with managing their accounting?"

Write down all ideas that come to your mind and keep track of them in your own funnel of ideas.

You can track the development of your ideas by assigning a maturity tag to each one. Initiate with the 'ideation' phase, welcoming all concepts. Then proceed to 'exploration' by researching their feasibility. Surviving ideas move to a 'deep dive,' gathering insights from users. 'Validate' the idea's market viability through real-world testing. Finally, 'launch' the refined idea into the market after thorough research and testing for further assessment and enhancement.

Now that you have this list of 30 ideas, select the top ones you really think have a business potential.

Step 2: Determine Critical Questions

Now it's time to write a set of questions that will help you uncover critical issues that are worth solving.
Ultimately, you want to discover a major problem that your potential customers really want to solve and are ready to pay a fair price for the solution.

You can start with these example questions:

  1. What's the main challenge that the various target customers you address are experiencing?
  2. How often do your potential customers face this challenge?
  3. What impact do these issues have on their businesses?
  4. Which KPIs could be affected by the challenges identified?
  5. Are there solutions already available in the market, and how effectively do they tackle the problems at hand?
  6. How much time or money are customers currently spending to mitigate these challenges?
  7. Are there new trends that might make these problems even worse?
  8. How could a SaaS solution or innovation solve these problems?
  9. Would you be capable to build a solution addressing these pains?
  10. If you work on these problems, can you build a business model that is sustainable and scalable?

Step 3: Expose Yourself to the Environment

Spend four full days connecting with potential customers and researching the market and existing solutions.
Remember to write down each additional idea or problem you discover and write down the answers to the questions you selected earlier for each one that seems worth solving.

Identify Job-Related Issues:

Talk to ex-colleagues to understand their common issues and recurring problems.
Ask people in your network about tasks they wish were automated and often repeat.

Market Research:

Perform targeted online research within a specific industry. Focus on understanding the primary challenges, current trends, and any potential groundbreaking innovations in that field.
Meet with industry leaders or C-levels, customers, and stakeholders to understand their needs and pain points.

Improve Existing Solutions:

Look at the products/services available in the market and identify areas that need improvement.
Figure out how you can enhance existing solutions to provide more value and distinguish yourself from competitors.

Step 4: Qualify and Rank Critical Issues

Once you've listed your ideas and identified critical issues, and you've answered your selected questions, it's time to organize them systematically. This helps prioritize which critical issues to focus on.

You can use this template to rank the identified issues from 1 to 5. Assign a score of 1 for the least important and 5 for the most crucial ones.

👉 Copy the “Find Critical Issues” Worksheet

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