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Today, you are concerned with the question of how your customers solve the problem. Despite no solution, people are still functioning, yet the problem persists. How do they do that?

Here is your task:

Research the Internet, think, ask friends and acquaintances:

  • How do they deal with the problem today?
  • What are the alternative solutions?
  • Which competitors are active in this market?
  • What prices do they charge?
  • In what form can customers buy the existing solutions (e.g., one-off payment, subscription, membership, rentals, etc.)?

Write down every solution alternative, including prices and payment method on Post-its until you can’t think of anymore. Now consolidate the results (you may be able to summarize some of them) and stick the best three to five solution alternatives that are available today and with which you will compete in your Extended Canvas.

Second part of today's task:

Now jump back to the “Target groups” field. Think about which subgroup in your customer segment has these problems in particular and/or is not addressed by the existing alternatives and/or is typically the first to try a new solution, even if it’s not quite ready yet. These subgroups are called “early adopters” and are important for you for three reasons:

  1. They are the first customers to buy, which means they generate your first income.
  2. This subgroup is particularly keen to try out new and not yet finished things and to give detailed feedback. Some of these people are no longer interested in a solution once it’s fully developed and a known quantity. They’d like to be the very first ones.
  3. This subgroup likes to talk about the new things they’re trying out, thus ensuring very credible word-of-mouth propaganda.

Getting the problems of your target customers right is a creative and iterative process. It’s worth being thorough here because a well-understood and well-described problem is already half solved. There are various techniques to structure the problem description. You will apply one of them now and formulate your target customer problem hypothesis as a short, concise text.

So, here is the third and final part of today's task:

Use the prepared text here or copy the following text and fill in the gaps with the results of your previous work:


For [target group] it is a constant challenge to solve the [general problem]. In each [period], these people carry out [a core activity] in order to achieve [a main objective]. This is especially true if you are a [niche].


It’s a constant challenge for employees at Industrial Park X to find time for their health in addition to the stress of their job. Every week, the employees look for a way to do something regularly to stay healthy and productive. This is especially true if you have a family to look after in addition to your job.


The main problem they face is the [primary functional problem related to the activity], which leads to [poor results]. Today, their best option is [substitutes], but of course, they are [the most common complaints of each substitute]. With the [main trend], the problem will only get worse over time.


The main problem they face is integrating healthy activities into their daily work routine, which leads to additional stress. Today, their best option is to take care of their health directly at the workplace by doing exercises, but of course, the space and time for this at the workplace is continuously threatened by the working day. With the increase in stress-related absences from work, the problem will only get worse over time.


If there were only an easier/better/cheaper way to carry out [the core activity], customers could have [a quantifiable impact] on [their main target], leading to [positive results/emotions]. With the [number of potential customers], there is a clear opportunity to influence a large number of people in a meaningful way.


If only there were an easier way to integrate health activities into everyday working life, customers could have a measurable positive effect on their health and performance, leading to more enjoyment of life and better performance. With a total of 4,900 employees in Industrial Park X, there is a clear opportunity to influence a large number of people in a meaningful way.

Here are the explanations for the terms that you insert in the blanks:

  • The target group: Your target clients, whom you identified on the last coaching day.
  • The general problem: What is the central problem that every customer from your target group can agree to (e.g., not enough time or money)? This follows from your summary of the problems in the first part of the task.
  • Core activity: What do customers do while they buy and/or use your product (e.g., “book flights” or “pick up documents” or “do something for their health”)?
  • Primary objective: What is the final objective of the implementation of this activity (e.g., “Traveling abroad,” or “Better health,” “More enjoyment of life and performance”)?
  • Niche: Which subgroup of potential customers is most likely to be an early adopter, i.e., which subgroup wants the offer most urgently?
  • Primary functional problem: What is the most challenging thing to do in the activity today?
  • Worst/worst results: What is the worst-case scenario if the activity goes wrong? If the target customers are companies: What are the adverse effects on the business?
  • Substitutes: What are the next best options or remedies available today? This follows from the third part of today’s task.
  • Most frequent complaints: Why don’t customers like these substitutes?
  • Main trend: What will increase this problem in the future?
  • Quantifiable effects: How can the impact of solving the problem be measured?
  • Positive results and emotions: What good things happen as a result? What is the positive business effect for B2B startups?
  • Number of potential customers: How many people can you approach?

If you have created additional Extended Canvas’s for other target groups on the previous coaching day, repeat today’s step for these as well.