Entrepreneurs are problem solvers. The degree of success they can achieve is determined by two things: how big of a problem they are solving and if they are able to scale their solution.
If you are going to launch a business, it is important to think in terms of problem and solution. The bigger the problem, the bigger your solution - your company - can become.
Following this path is how one entrepreneurial team entered into their new business. But they aren’t just solving one problem; they are solving two. Two very big problems.
Rich Naha is the CEO of Froozer, a company that is tackling both the nutrition epidemic and the food waste crises that are making bigger headlines every day. Froozer flash freezes fruits and vegetables at the peak of their ripeness (and highest nutritional value), blends them together, and packages them in tubes. Believe it or not, freezing and packaging fruit is pretty groundbreaking, and it is taking the country by storm.
Nutrition - There is a very real nutrition epidemic in the United States. Packaged goods are rife with misleading labels and packed full of additives that offer zero nutritional value. In order to make food cheap and taste good, food corporations use excessive amounts of sugar and sodium and dozens of ingredients that most people have never heard of to flavor their food. The result is a whole population that is being deprived of high quality, nutritious food.
There are places where the situation is particularly bleak. Hospitals, nursing homes, and schools are some of the worst offenders, distributing food that has been acquired cheaply and with little regard for its quality.
Froozer has positioned itself as a solution by making produce highly affordable and easy for children, the elderly, and the infirm to consume.
Food waste - The food waste problem is a multi-faceted issue, one that is contributed to by overly high aesthetic standards, market price fluctuations, and supply and demand imbalances. Food producers drive the bulk of food waste by throwing out bruised or “unsightly” produce, and, if you can believe it, food that is too ripe.
Because produce has to look good on grocery store shelves, produce companies discard billions of dollars worth of produce every year by throwing out blemished fruits and vegetables. To solve this, Froozer has developed a product that is able to use the discarded produce in a blended form, thus reducing food waste and blazing a trail for other products that could work to creatively reduce that waste.
Food corporations also throw out fruits and vegetables that are too ripe. Because it can take as long as two weeks for a tomato to make it from the field to your grocery store, they are picked well before they are fully ripe so that they will not spoil prematurely. That means that the fruit we buy in grocery stores was not ripe when it was picked, and lacks much of the nutritious value that it should contain. Froozer can pick at the peak of ripeness and use produce that is discarded for being too ripe.
Picking your company's challenge
As infamous futurist Peter Diamandis said, “If you want to make a billion dollars, try solving a problem for a billion people.” When you are launching your business, it is important not only to make sure the problem you are solving is a big one, but also that it’s an important and meaningful one.
Here are three questions you can ask yourself to determine if your business idea truly solves a meaningful problem.
1.How many people are affected by the problem? 1 million? 1 billion? This will influence how you organize your company, how you brand your product, and how you plan to scale.
2.Would the world be a better place with your solution? While initially most entrepreneurs would say yes, it’s important to separate yourself from your idea and really determine if this is a priority issue for other people.
3.Who else is trying to solve it? Be honest with yourself and see who is already in the market you would enter. If Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are already setting out to solve the problem, it might be best to continue searching for a problem that isn’t saturated with billionaire problem solvers.
Improving people’s lives is the most authentic way to build a lasting business (as we’ve learned from Conscious Capitalism), and we need more companies like Froozer tackling our biggest problems.
So as you reflect on your business or business idea, keep in mind that people pay for solutions. They look for organizations that can remedy their problems.
Your job is to be their solution.