Being a problem solver goes hand in hand with the prior characteristic. Research helps you identify the unmet need; designing solutions addresses the need. Most entrepreneurs are not inventing something new but making an existing product or service better, or positioning it to solve a problem.
Last year, HomeStreet Bank’s CEO Mark Mason was named finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He’d taken on the rescue of HomeStreet Bank at a time when many observers thought it would be shut down. Turning around struggling firms had become his specialty. He’d also led the turnaround of Fidelity Federal Bank in California. In both cases, he took bold steps to solve problems. As he told the Seattle Times, “It’s like triage. You have to quickly assess the most critical needs, address them and move on.”
Action Steps for the Marketing Entrepreneur:
1. Ask yourself what unresolved problems exist in your market (or organization or customer segment), and whether or not you can effect a reasonable solution. If the answer isn’t clear from assembling internal data; pull together experts from different disciplines and integrate their intelligence to help you assess and solve the problem you hope to address.
2. Decisiveness is a critical problem solving skill. After analyzing several possible solutions to the problem at hand; arrive at a decision quickly. There are lots of “ready, aim, aim, aim…” bank marketers out there – you need to be a “pull the trigger” type.