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deﬁne underlying goals (such as making a proﬁt) and objectives in broad strategic terms, including
what market is served and what beneﬁts are offered. Deﬁne the Pain Point
Deﬁne the pain point that drives your business. What customer problem, need, or want does your
business address? This is a core concept you’ll need to establish with a mission statement. Who is
better off because your business exists, and why are they better off? HURDLE: THE BOOK 3.2 ON BUSINESS PLANNING Sometimes this is obvious. A bakery supplies fresh bread. A car supplies transportation. A commercial
jet takes people from one city to another.
Some pain points are less obvious. Does anybody really need hair coloring? Starbucks offers
“affordable luxury.” That’s not an obvious need but it is an obvious want. Does anybody really need
an extremely expensive automobile that carries only two people and goes three times faster than the
law allows? No, but some people want that, and businesses that supply it do very well.
Here are some other examples:
• Some restaurants solve the problem of getting food cheaply, or fast. Some solve the problem of
where people can go out together to celebrate an occasion with a good meal. Which one is likely
to be at an airport? Do all restaurants have the same mission? Does the high-end restaurant
solve a problem as much as it ﬁlls a need and supplies a want? • A résumé writer solves a speciﬁc problem for speciﬁc people. • A pickup truck solves one set of problems for one set of people, and a sports car solves another
set of problems for a different set of people. The pickup truck doesn’t have to take corners fast,
and the sports car doesn’t have to carry a lot of cargo. W hat Business Are You In?
Ask yourself what business you are in, and don’t narrow yourself down. One of the classic business
examples is the railroads, which lost a chance to expand in the twentieth century because they
misdeﬁned themselves. They thought they...
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- Winter '09