Thank you all for being here for Episode 16 and today’s topic is: Developing Solutions! WooWho!
Alright so, this is a follow-up from the last episode we did on “How to come up with different problems”. Um, and so when… once you have all these problems, the next step is to come up with solutions for these problems. So what do you do with all the problems?
Yeah. Exactly. You know… you, you come up with clients. Hopefully, you have identified some potential clients and you’ve come up with a list of the problems. Um, personally… my objective is to just solve all of their problems. But you have to start somewhere so I usually start with one.
Yeah, I agree, Kerry. You know, ultimately we want to do this problem or that problem. We want to do multiple problems but the ultimate goal is to start with one. We can put the rest of them into our – what I like to call my one-day notebook. Um, problems that I might address one day – I might try to come up with solutions one day. Um so, once you have all the information and you know all the problems, you decide, “okay I want to solve one”. Um, how do you decide which problem that you want to start with?
Wow, that’s a huge question and.. a lot of times – it’s sometimes the most difficult thing to do. I think as human beings, we tend to lean toward solving the problems that are the easiest to solve. Um, something you may already know, or something you already have an answer to. And it IS a great place to start, but I don’t think that always the best idea as far as finding the right solution for the right (particular) problem.
I think there’s a number of things to consider. Would you agree?
I totally agree because ultimately we want to solve – want to develop a solution that will solve a problem. Not just to help someone else but to also help our business grow. Because it does us no good if we’re solving a problem but we can’t benefit from it financially in our business.
So, how do you find the solutions to problems if you don’t have the answers to them?
The first thing is Kerry… before I do that, I want to start with like… I look at my problem and I say, “okay so, I have these problems which problem?”… Based on what I’ve already determined is like the impact of solving the problem. “Which problem will give the greatest impact on the person that’s having the problem?”
“Which problem will give the greatest impact on the person that’s having the problem?”
~ Arelthia Phillips
Oh… that is a great way to look at it because if you do it that way then the… then, of course, you’re going to be able to benefit from solving the problem and your client is going to have the greatest benefit because they’re going to have the greatest impact made on their lives made easier by you solving their problem.
Yeah, and you… you want that benefit for your of your potential clients to be great because the better the benefit is for them the… (sigh)… in all honesty, it’s easier for you to convince them to pay you for it.
There you go. Right
If they’re going to see, “I’m gonna get this great benefit. My life is going to be improved after this.” Then they’re more than willing to pay you whatever number you put in front of them.
That’s very good point.
And so when you’re brainstorming, there are a couple of different ways to look at this to come up with a solution. So you’ve chosen your problem. Then, you want to look at, “ok… so if money was not a problem… if I could… if the solution could cost anything, alright – unlimited budget. What would the solution be?” Ok so, you write out the solution based on, “ok there is no limitations on this, it’s whatever I think of.” Um and so you come up with that solution. And then, you take a look at that and you say, “ok”. So now you want to brainstorm ok, “what about a more realistic solution? Something that I feel like I can do.”
So, basically, you’re going through a brainstorming process. Um and I know I do my brainstorming, I meet up with friends online a lot of time – great minds, you know? I call it like, my… my mastermind – meeting of the minds group.
And I discuss it with them and I… just – we just slam a whole number of solutions onto a piece of paper under a particular problem. And nothing is out of the question.
You have a brainstorming session and you can ask these different groups that you connect with… your team, your spouse, even your clients. You can even have a client meeting with them and brainstorm with your clients. And just write down anything and everything that comes to mind that could potentially solve the problem. You’re not making any final decisions yet, you’re gathering your list and just putting it in the big – one one area so it’s all in one place.
And I think another great way of… to help brainstorm this development solution process, is to actually look at what’s already out there. What, what could potentially already solve this problem? And you want to look at it, in, from different points of view. You want to look at… what’s the strength of it, what’s already out there? What are the weaknesses of what’s already out there? Because that will help you come up with some ideas of solutions that you can develop, uh… to solve this problem.
So, it’s just about keeping your mind open to all possible solutions. Not saying, “oh somebody’s already done that. I don’t want to do that.” No! It’s about… ok, looking at how you can improve the solution in some way.
Alright, so now you have your list of solutions, what’s your next up to really determining which solution is right the problem? We touched on it a little bit back on question number two when we talked about knowing which one to address first but, how do you really know which solution is the right solution for the problem?
For me, the first thing that I want to look at… I want to go through all the solutions that came up with and determine okay, “is this a real solution to the problem or just a band-aid to the problem?”
Yeah, that’s a great point because a lot of times the answer isn’t… you may not have time to fix it or whatnot.
Yeah, but I think sometimes, we also get into this, well… it’s kind of like the old adage, you know, if all you have a hammer, the hammer is the solution to every problem. But the hammer may not be the solution to your problem with – a screw or to your problem with a piece of paper. But so, you want to really look at it closely, “am I only looking at the solution because this is all I know how to do?” Because you don’t want to just focus on those solutions, you want to focus on all possible solutions so that you can choose the best solution that actually solves that [particular] problem.
Yeah, I totally agree, I totally agree. And it does fall back on to ultimately which solution is going to have that greatest impact on your client and, and go with that. So that brings me to pretty much the conclusion of this show but what’s action plan going to be for this one?
Of our action plan for this is to… we really want to focus on matching, we want to match a single solution to one problem. So, you have one problem, you want to have one solution [matched with it] when you finished it [taking your action]. Ok? So, yes we’re going to go through the process of, “okay we’ve got all these problems, we’ve talked to people, we thought about our own personal problem, and now we have all these problems…. okay…Match problems to a single solution to determine products or services. Click To Tweet
You know? That, that makes me think of something. When you’re, when you come up with your solutions for your problems, I normally find they fall into some basic categories. They’re going to be… a service or product – at least in our industry and working with WordPress and finding, you know, ways to do more with WordPress. The solutions are typically going to end up being a service or a product. And I know in the last episode we kind of started charting our problems and some of our potential solutions, I mean our problems and our impacts. And this time, I think it would be great to follow-up and, and have that sheet where we offer a problem with our solutions and then further that and put our solution connected, matched, like you said, with a problem and then mark that they are either a service or a product.
Yeah. I think that’s a great idea, Kerry because when you start thinking about that, whether it’s a service or product, you start to look at your business from a different point of view. So you start to not just see, “oh well, uh, I’m a service business because I’m working with WordPress. It’s not necessarily so because you may have a solution that could be a product. And it does not have to be a theme or plug-in. A product could also be an info product related to what you’re already doing for your customers. Uh…
So, you want to look at all possible solutions. But you, you categorize them so that it makes it easier for you to decide which solutions you want to tackle.
And one of the things, Kerry, that I wanted to do – and I had not planned on doing this. Let me find my little notebook. I want to talk about some possible, like, I know we, we give all these charts and stuff and we talk to people about, well what are we talking about? We’re talking about problems. What would be some ideas where… someone may say they have a problem? Let’s say for example, and I’m looking in my little book here… my little purple book. Yes, it’s purple. Like… a problem could be, “my clients text me for an appointment and it can be hard to keep track of all the different text messages.” Ok, so that’s the problem. Um so, you go through the whole series and you come up with a list of possible solutions. So Kerry, just with that problem, what would be a possible solution you could come up with?
For??? Say the problem once again.
Problem: My clients text me for an appointment and it can be hard to keep track of all the messages at times.
Well… yeah, there’s a number of solutions. I was thinking of, “upon immediately receiving any text messages to have… maybe a move that [message] to the notes area in your phone, if you’re getting it on a text message”.
Either that or another one might be to… “have a particular time of day, at the end of your day that the end of your day to go through all of your text messages and transfer them to a place that you can keep track of them.
Um… let’s see what else? You could maybe, maybe, I don’t know if you can even forward text messages but, maybe… forward text messages to a single area so that it automatically gets collected… I don’t know. I’m kind of in brainstorming mode so I’m just coming up with anything else.
And that’s the way it needs to work when you’re brainstorming through these solutions. They just keep going and you just keep letting them keep going. And part of the, the thing about being a mastermind, um, is that when this happens your thoughts will trigger someone else to have ideas. For example, I’m thinking – when you’re saying, “when a text message comes in just forward somewhere else”, – where… well, what if as soon as the text message comes in it automatically goes to up a list of all the appointments.
Ah… Paul [from our live audience] is saying, To-do List lets you save it to the list. Then what about… what if I have another example. Ok, what if instead of having your customers text you for an appointment, what if there’s a spot on your website where they could go to, to sign up for an appointment it’s automatically there.
Like, send your contact form to different areas if you wanted to. In fact, that’s exactly what I ended up doing with my business. I originally started with just the basic contact form and then I realized that my contact form was bringing into many different types of things that I needed to… I needed to specify the difference between when a customer was emailing me with a task, and when they were emailing me with a question, or they were emailing me with a problem. So, I adapted my form. And I created it so that it would separate them out – and forward to different places so that I would know what it was a question, or if it was a task they needed me to do, or if it was a problem they were having. And there are different priorities I have for those different levels of things too. So, if it’s a problem then it may have a higher priority than a question. But, depending on what the question is, of course, you have to also look at that. But yes. And then you can also… it went from my contact form to the point where I was like, “oh my gosh, now I’m getting all these things here, but I really need them over… I need my task over here to keep me on track and ensure that I focus and get the tasks that I need to get done every day. So, I needed a support ticket system. So then, I developed my support system and, uh, it just gradually grew and, and now meets those needs and solved that problem. Now granted, I didn’t take action on any of these things until I could feel the pain, so that brings us back to the last episode where we identified the difference between having that pain and if it was… whether it… or if it was just an annoyance.
“It just gradually grew and, and now meets those needs and solved that problem.”
~ Kerry Carron
Ok, alright, great. So, we went from we, we looked at the pain, we came up with the list of solutions, and Kerry, I’m going to categorize that solution you just gave us as a product. So, they’ll be, there is a product needed for that. Okay and uh, and if you don’t mind, let’s work through one more, uh, just for example purposes.
Um, how about… uh, oh… here’s a good one… ahh… “I spent a lot of…” Oh, wait a minute, that’s not a good one.
(LOL) I spend a lot too (LOL).
Ok here’s one, here’s one, here’s one… like, okay, um… “adding new context into the website and sharing to all the social sites take up too much of my time.”
Ewww, you know… there is already a product out there for that.
Ok so, in that situation, just like… BOOM! Kerry automatically thought of one for that. But we still have to work through a bunch of different possible solutions. And then you know, we move on from there until we determine which one solution will be best for that problem.
So, after all is said and done and, and wrapping this up… um. So we’re going to give you some tools to use and hopefully you’ll be able to take them and combine them with the ones from some of our past episodes. And we’re going to match our problem to a single solution and determine if our solution is a product or service. Once y’all do that, we’d really love to have you come back and let us know, for you, which was more difficult – brainstorming the solution or choosing which of the solutions that you came up was the best solution for the problem?
Okay. All right. So, guys, we know that your comments can help us but they may also help someone else in the process and so, we want to thank you for being here. Thank you for also…
Now…[garbled] oh, go ahead.
Also, we want to thank you for actually visiting our website and leaving us your ideas and thoughts on the things that we discuss.
Absolutely. Now, we want you to go on out and create your plan, take action, and experience your success.