Near a cave, some 300,000 years ago one of my (very distant) relatives sharpened a stick and made a spear. He solved a problem.
Fast forward to the land of iWatches and Periscope and nothing’s really changed. The most valuable employees, business leaders, entrepreneurs and housewives solve problems.
You know that, I know that, the question is are you doing it?
When I joined three partners to build a travel business on the back of a one-time climbing expedition in Antarctica, we were setting out to solve a problem: how to get people to the South Pole. The solution we created quickly turned into millions of dollars of business.
When I joined three partners to build a travel business on the back of a one-time climbing expedition in Antarctica, we were setting out to solve a problem.
When Arthur Fry realized the glue he invented allowed him to stick a bookmark in his Bible and re-stick it on different pages he solved a problem. He also invented the Post-it note and a major revenue stream for 3M that continues today.
And when Blake Mycoskie donated a pair of shoes for every pair his customer bought he solved a big problem of fund-raising. And his TOMS one for one model inspired other companies to include charitable giving in their business model.
The one question you must ask yourself
Illegal options aside, you earn more when you solve bigger problems.
Five years ago I decided to shift half my business to work with experts who wanted to build a speaking business. As I experimented with training, ebooks, coaching – even my own conferences – I realized I wasn’t asking the right question.
I realized I wasn’t asking the right question.
Instead of “What will they buy?” I should have been asking “What has the most value for them?”
The answer (and it’s no different for most every entrepreneur) is to get more customers and more business. That’s why just over one year ago I created SOS, a smart traffic growth service to pull more customers to our clients’ web sites. More qualified traffic means more business.
To add more value, follow these four simple (simple on paper, mind you) steps.
4 steps to adding more value
- Ask what they want. When you do all the pitching it’s easy to miss the ball your customer is tossing your way. A great question to ask is “What would be the ideal solution to your problem?” Plus a simple two-question annual survey will give you more than enough to design solutions around.
When you do all the pitching it’s easy to miss the ball your customer is tossing your way.
- Invent, launch, improve. Now the fun part: invent a solution and let your customers vote on it. When we launched SOS a little over a year ago it was a hacked together solution, but it worked and we could measure results. Today we are getting incredible traffic increases for our clients and it’s because we’ve had a year of experimentation to learn what works.
- Don’t overcomplicate it. The first Tesla all-electric car looked like a home-made kit. But it made the news and prepared the market for the huge launch of the Model S.
- Measure results. The late Peter Drucker famously warned “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” And there’s no excuse for not measuring results – data is everywhere. Tools like www.cyfe.com, www.clicdata.com and www.bittle-solutions.com are fast to set up and pull your results into one dashboard.
Not earning enough? Try solving a bigger problem.