How to Solve Problems and Grow Your Business

Business Growth Through Problem SolvingI’m sure you have heard the catch phrase “follow the money.” As a matter of fact, it is one I use a lot. If you want success in your online business, you need to learn how to follow the problem. In other words, the best business model you can have is one that solves problems and it does not matter if you offer products or services.

We are heading towards the New Year and more people are turning to the internet to solve their problems. These problems are there at any time of the year but with New Year resolutions, they are more heightened. So if you offer a product or service on how to lose weight for instance, or how to use coupons to save on groceries, you will most likely be reaching out to those desperately seeking answers.

But how do you know what problems plague your niche market?

Keyword Research

This is very important if you want to be the go-to person in your niche. Keyword research allows you to know what people are searching for on the internet and you can tailor your products or services to meet those needs. Google has a free tool that you can use to find out if people are searching for solutions within your subject or niche.

There you can type in your niche or keyword and find out if there are searches for that term and what phrases searchers use. You should also search for related words. For instance if you are in the weight loss niche, you could search for diets or fitness exercises.

What keyword research does is give you a broad idea about topics in your niche. But you need to dig a little deeper if you really want to solve relevant problems.

Listen to Conversations

On the internet, there are always conversations going on, you just need to know where to listen to find out what your niche market is talking about. There are several places you can listen to conversations in your niche and I’ll list a few.

Google Trends: Here you can discover the current trends and interests. This is usually determined by up to the minute searches and so changes continually. With Google Trends you get to discover what is hot at the moment. Moreover, you can actually do a search to discover how relevant your chosen niche or topic is to those who are searching for information.

Google Talk Labs: This is an expanded Google tool and is another version of the Google Talk gadget. It lets you participate in conversations about trend topics and you can interact with others.

Forums: There are several forums for different niches. It is important to take part in forums. Don’t be a lurker, be involved and add value to the conversation. Nothing will get you barred from a forum faster than showing up with a sales pitch instead of being a participant.

Pay attention to the questions being asked in the forums and the answers people are giving. This should give you a good idea of the areas where you can make your business relevant.

Yahoo Answers: This is another great place to listen in on conversations in your niche. Search Yahoo answers using your keywords or keywords relevant to your niche and find out the common questions that people are asking. Now you can tailor your product or service to answer those questions.

Read Relevant Blogs

Go to the relevant blogs in your niche and read the comments in posts. They contain a wealth of resource in terms of the questions people are asking and what problems you could solve. Other blogs like Technorati and Boing Boing will also supply useful information.

Once you have identified the problem(s) you wish to offer solutions for, the next step is to find out if there is a product to solve that problem. If there is, take a good look at that product and find out what you can do to improve, simplify, expand or add a new twist to that answer. Is it a high-priced product? Then you need to develop something at a slightly lower price.

Is it too cheap and vague? That’s your cue to add more substance, get endorsements from reviewers and place your product as the premium solution. You would be surprised how much you can jump-start your business simply by solving problems in your niche.