By Titus Mirieri
This is the first and easiest way to arrive at a viable business idea. Look at what problems majority of people face in your neighborhood and try to come up with a comprehensive solution and make it a business.
For example, if people in your area are having to travel for long distances to re-fill their cooking gas cylinders you can pick the idea of starting a shop that supplies gas cylinders.
Most businesses on earth exist to fix problems.
Interestingly, the natural human reaction to problems and challenges is to complain, blame, curse, and criticize. That’s what many people do.
While these actions enforce your rights of free expression, they hardly provide any solutions to problems.
But entrepreneurs see problems differently. That’s why we’re unique people. We see business opportunities in every problem. We think of solutions instead of whining about our difficulties.
And because most people are frustrated by problems and challenges, they would gladly pay anyone with a solution to get it solved.
Have you ever had car trouble before? If you’re like most people, you definitely hate a car that won’t start or an ugly noise in the engine, that could be the sign of something catastrophic. I definitely hate car trouble!
But you see, for a mechanic, car trouble means an opportunity to make money. Because an auto technician has the solution to your car trouble, you would gladly pay him to get it solved for good.
One person’s problem is often another person’s opportunity.
As you already know, our dear Africa is awash with problems. Most of our roads are broken, electricity supply is poor, young people can’t find jobs, our schools don’t teach well and food is insufficient.
Compared to the rest of the world, Africa’s problems are very many.
But while many people think this is a bad thing, I think it’s really good for us. Because, within all these problems are golden business opportunities to make money!
It all depends with your perspective.
You need to stop seeing problems in your life and environment as ‘problems.’ Instead of whining, ask yourself: ‘How can I create a business from this problem?’
This is exactly how smart entrepreneurs think in Africa.
If you really want to make money in Africa, you need to start writing a list of all the problems you’ve noticed and start to think of possible solutions for them.
By the time you’re done, you’ll be flooded with great business ideas. That’s for sure!
If people are having problems accessing clean water, think of drilling a borehole and start selling them water for a small fee.
If people are struggling getting quality education, and you can help, why not start a coaching business?
If people are too busy in the office and have no time for lunch, why not start a food supply business?
As much as the society will never lack problems, you will never lack a business idea.