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Who needs what ?

A business should be based on a need that the founder knows or suspects exists in a market. A prospective client will only be interested in your offer only if it meets one of the more or less essential needs they are seeking to satisfy.

If we take a car as an example: someone buying a car needs to get from A to B but other factors come into play such as financial aspects, safety, environmental issues, quality  to name but a few.

High value purchases like homes and cars usually reflect a combination of several needs, but there will be a hierarchy among them specific to each person. Even purchases of a smaller dollar value should meet a need that the prospective purchaser is experiencing.


Here are some things you should think about when considering the need(s) you’ve identified:

    • How did you detect this need? – Why do you think these people have this need?
    • Are there other needs associated with the need you have identified?
    • Will this need continue over time? Is it a temporary or a sustainable need?
    • Who are the people with this need? Is it a small or a large group of people?
    • Is it an on ongoing need for a clearly identifiable group of people? OR a heterogeneous group of people?
    • What are the typical behaviour patterns of the people expressing this need?
    • Is it an on-going need or a new need?
    • Are there other ways this need could be satisfied ?
    • Are the people expressing this need frustrated to a slight, an average or a high degree?
    • Have the people expressing this need had it for a long time, for some time or only recently?
    • Do the people expressing this need want to satisfy it quickly? Are they ready to buy?
    • What factors identified in your external environment scan could impact this need? And would this be in a positive or negative way?
    • How might the need evolve over time?

This post was based on  “Identifying Needs” by Claude Ananou. in Filion, L.J. and C. Ananou De l’intuition au projet d’entreprise. Transcontinental, 2010.

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