Your business idea can get even better if you focus on the function that your product or service is supposed to perform. Define the task you want to solve for the clientele as clearly and easily as possible. Find out what basic need or goal is associated with it. And then radically question the ways and means that exist so far on the market! Our guide will outline how to refine a business idea by need.
Refine a business idea by need: the steps
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the crucial function to be fulfilled?
- What is at stake?
- How could I do this differently than it has been done in the past?
Think of what already exists and what is customary so far: How can you replace existing offers with simpler, more modern approaches or completely different principles?
What we mean can be summed up in three words: function instead of convention.
An example of this is carsharing. It used to be common for people to buy a car (convention) when they had to get from A to B more often and comfortably (function). In fact, their car then stands around unused most of the time, wants to be cared for and causes unnecessary costs. The idea of carsharing broke with this existing social convention and offered a new solution: you only take a car when you need it. Otherwise you have to worry about almost nothing and save a lot of money.
Another example: The “Tea Campaign”, winner of the German Founder’s Prize 2009, broke many years ago with the convention of selling tea in small packs to the final consumers. If you just want to drink good tea (function), you can buy high-quality teas much cheaper than before. In a large pack.
By thinking about the function, you can find new ways to satisfy your clientele’s needs. In any case, as you think about it, your idea becomes even clearer and better. If you want to think more about it, frame it on the principle of “function instead of convention” described by Günter Faltin.
Faltin also points out other ways to get to creative, new solutions for the needs of customers, emphasising in the title of one of his books that ‘brains are better than capital’…