How should entrepreneurs search for needs / wants?

Entrepreneurs normally start with an idea and this is the predominant reason for the high failure rate of start-ups. This is primarily because the ideas are not linked to any particular needs or wants of potential customers. So when I conduct workshops for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship faculty I always urge them to find an opportunity in the market / industry and then come up with ideas to satisfy them. Though it seems fairly straightforward, it is quite rare to be seen in practice. The major reason for this is the success stories of exceptions.

But how to look for opportunities in the market place and in what forms do they appear? Here are some triggers to get you searching for them in the right way:

  • A necessity to lead a comfortable life
  • A want (good to have) to lead life better
  • A problem that they are facing in living their personal / professional lives
  • A product / service that they are tired of using, for lack of alternatives
  • A challenge that they are facing which is not allowing them to grow (personally / professionally)

The above needs could be experienced at the individual level in their personal or professional lives. At the same time these can also be experienced by organizations (both profit and non-profit). So, irrespective of whether you intend to serve the individual customer or an enterprise, the above categories are a simple way to start searching for opportunities.

Give it a try! Chances are you will be bought much earlier than what most entrepreneurs’ wish they experienced in their venture creation journey.


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