The first step of asking your customers more, might not be enough to be sure that it can be a hit. The opinions of customers are only one of the many factors that we have to take into account.
We also have to know whether it is a problem that they have to face a lot or if it only happens from time to time, whether it is urgent or whether there aren’t already other options trying to solve it and here is where the 4 U framework comes into play.
4 U Framework
It is based on 4 words, that help you review your idea and understand the problem: Unworkable, Unavoidable, Urgent, Undeserved.
The first U
Unworkable: Is the problem you are trying unworkable? Have you made sure that your customer segment actually considers it a problem or is it just a nice to have?
Is it something that is too costly to fix with the current solutions? Have they been searching for other solutions and if so which problems did they find in them?
The second U
Unavoidable: Is the problem you are trying to solve one that they have to face no matter what? Can they face the other way and reduce the pain it is causing them or is it unavoidable?
Is it related to someone keeping their job? If they don’t fix it will someone lose their job or have some other kind of long term consequence?
Is it imposed by someone or something that they can’t go against? Is it the same as paying your taxes where the consequences are huge?
The third U
Urgent: Is the problem you are trying to solve within the top 3 problems that you segment has? Many times we think that we have no competition because the idea is new or we are going for a ”void” in the market, but actually that isn’t true.
No matter how new the concept you are always competing with all the other expenses they might have and if you aren’t in the top 3 of their priorities then you might not get attention.
So consider this, is the problem you are trying to solve one that they have to get done with no matter what and right now or is it something that they can postpone indefinitely?
Are you helping them increase ROI (basically make more money) or time? And not only that, but how will your position in the priority list change with time? Will you go up or down and which are the factors that can make you go in one direction or the other?
The last U
Undeserved: Is the problem you are trying to solve one that no one else is solving? Are there already some partial solutions? And if so, why are they not working or why do the customers need more?
Remember that business is usually a 0 sum game where there is a limited amount of resources that a company can spend and if there are already things that solve it for them the chance that they want to jump and try a startup’s solution is quite small. For companies and consumers, all startups are a risk in the sense that they never know if they will really work.
Remember, always ask which are the customer needs that you are satysfiying and find ways in which you can give something to each one of them.
These are some of the needs that you might want to take into account:
Always think about how you are providing something for each one of these needs, and which one is the most important for your customers.
Read the next article on the value proposition series
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