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E37: Generate Revenue By Solving Your Own Problem

by Sean Boyce

How can you generate revenue for your organization by solving your own problem?

On this episode I talk about:
  • Focusing on impact
  • Performing your own discovery
  • Bringing a solution to market
  • Measuring the results
  • Sellng it to others like you
If you’d like to learn how to scale impact at your nonprofit by more than double in less than half the time, sign up for my free 5 day email course (https://nxtstep.io/impact/)

Episode Transcript

Hey everyone, Sean here and today what I want to talk to you about is the advantages of focusing on solving your own problem when it comes to scaling impact and leveraging technology and software in order to do it. 

Now it can be tricky to achieve product success and I talk a lot about that on this show. But leveraged appropriately software and technology can really help you scale impact at an entirely different level than you may have before. If you’ve been leveraging people or mainly services.

In order to take full advantage of what software and digital products are capable of. You really need to have a tight value proposition as you need to know what specific problem you’re solving or which specific target market and how that solution is better than however they were trying to solve those problems today. I talk a lot about that, but in this particular instance, I’m referring to this as a sort of design pattern, which is common terminology you’ll hear about if you’re ever reading up on much in terms of product development or software engineering. It’s essentially a pattern in which to follow where you’re trying to solve a particular common problem. There oftentimes becomes a pattern that becomes developed that many can use and replicate in their own projects in order to prevent themselves from having to kind of reinvent the wheel when they have to solve a similar problem so it can speed up the progress terms of what it is you’re trying to accomplish.

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This case I want to talk about the advantages of solving your own problem. Now if you want to leverage this strategy the way you should do it is you should first figure out how you can do so in order to maximize your impact, right, because that’s the number one objective.

Once you know that, you can perform the discovery that I’ve been talking about, but you can perform it within your own organization as opposed to needing to get access to anyone external to your organization. You could perform it with your own team and figure out what is slowing them down what are the biggest problems and challenges they are having in order to try to provide the kind of impact that you would like to to your clients, your nonprofit program clients.

The results of this discovery should yield an opportunity for you to bring a better or an improved solution to market when compared with however your team is going about solving those problems today. So you may be able to find where they’re losing most of their time or what challenge is standing in the way of them making even more progress presenting to you the opportunity in this case. 

Now, after you have identified how you would like to solve that problem in a better way with a form of a software or a digital product. You can build and bring that solution to market and then measure the results. Did it ultimately achieve what you had set out to achieve? If so, that’s fantastic. And now you can look for other areas where you can expand the reach of this value proposition to others that might need it. One great example of that is other organizations like yours, more than likely, if you found a problem within your own organization, chances are high that in other organizations like yours, they have the same problem. They also are more than likely leveraging a similar existing solution, meaning that there’s an opportunity to sell to them as well. So this means that what might initially feel like an expense because you’re investing in building something, but for your own team, in terms of helping you become what you might consider to be only operationally more efficient, which is still most of the time a worthwhile investment depending on the numbers and how big of a benefit you’re going to get. What you ultimately find out is if you stumble upon something that is also a problem for others, like you as well, too. You can take what you built, turn it around and start selling it to other organizations like yours, giving you the opportunity to turn what you might have thought of as an expense into more of an investment because now you can start generating revenue from it as you are selling that solution to others as well to so you can get a even more significant return than just the operational efficiency improvement. You can also bring in revenue and create an entire revenue stream from this. That revenue can then be reinvested back into your program as a funding source. to again help you greater scale impact. 

So there’s a lot of benefits to solving your own problem. I wanted to kind of reiterate that process. And in a future episode potentially. Tomorrow I’m going to talk more about an example of where I’ve leveraged this design pattern in order to help a nonprofit client of mine better scale impact and go from operational efficiency improvement to start generating revenue for their organization, giving them the opportunity to reinvest it back into the programs and continue scaling impact.