In today's business landscape and with the insurgence of the start-up scene, we have been on a course of "disruptive" and game-changing efforts to make big impacts in just about every industry. As a part of those efforts, the focus has shifted from "create new ideas" to "let's solve the industry's most hindering problems". This mentality is why you see so many companies (us included) changing their marketing languge from "we do this and we do that" to "we are solving our clients' business problems, through this and that".
While most larger companies have that view and mentality already - that they have a business problem that needs solving, many small and medium business don't look at it the same. For instance, one could argue that a company that doesn't have a website in today's age has a real problem - they don't have a website! Well of course we would agree that not having some sort of web presence for your business is certainly problematic, the question to be asked is... what specific problems could a website solve for your business? And this goes well beyond a website, obviously... This question should be asked, quite frankly, with any "solution" you might be considering purchasing.
Many times, business problems show themselves quite up front and "in-your-face" but other business problems are not obvious and requires you or your staff to do a bit of "auditing" to see what is going on in your business. It is in that "digging" that you will uncover potential problems. Once you've identified the business problems you face, then it would be time to start looking for "solution providers".
This article intends to make business owners and upper management consider the granularity of the problems and not just the 30,000 ft. view of the problem. Once you dive a little deeper into your company's potential business problems, your purchases will be much better made. Again using a website as example - yes, every business should have a website but if you use that as the "problem" and just go pay some person or company to build you a website, what problem are you really solving with the money you spent? Does the website itself address the more granular problems? This is where having a company that partners with you to provide solutions to your business problems differentiates from those companies that are just selling a product or service.
So go on, do a little "deep diving" and get to the bottom of the most important problems that your business has and seek out companies that want to help solve those problems by understanding them, researching them, proposing solutions for them, and most importantly, has the capabilities to develop real solutions for them.