Although the Great Love Debate (GLD) bills itself as the answer to your dating problems. I left this interactive event thinking you can turn almost anything into a money-making venture. All you need is a robust market, a problem that needs fixing, and a solution people will pay for. It’s the same formula as any other business, but some entrepreneurs don’t get all the parts right and miss out on lucrative opportunities because of it.
What follows is an incredibly high-level look at business. It takes more than these three components to create and grow an enterprise, but until you identify your market, problem and solution, you can’t determine whether or not your business idea is viable.
While you think about that, let’s take a closer look at the three components to see why the Great Love Debate makes money and how you might too.
Market: single people
I’d say this niche is too broad, except that its brilliant for their purposes. There are millions of single people, and the divorce courts make more everyday. This means GLD can tour regularly and still attract fresh audiences.
For most people I would suggest defining your market more narrowly. The more specific the niche, the more likely you are to hone in on a problem and a creative solution. For example: GLD could narrow their focus to divorced women between 28-45, then build the program around getting back into the dating pool after a long absence. Everyone else would still be welcome to buy a ticket.
Problem: people don’t know how to make dating work for them
No matter your age, you sometimes get stymied by dating. What are the rules? Where are all the single people? Why don’t I get second dates? It can be confusing. This particular problem, or set of problems, has lots of possible solutions.
Solution: the Great Love Debate tour
A town hall style meeting where men and woman get to hear one anothers’ beliefs. To help keep things civil and offer advice, the debate has a moderator and a panel of dating experts, relationship coaches and matchmakers. These people have the knowledge to actually help singles in their quest for love.
The coed crowd, moderator and panel of experts are not only the solution, they are also the unique selling proposition for GLD. There are probably thousands of dating sites, matchmakers and books to help you find love. GLD gives you a relatively low-cost sample of how experts might help you, and does so in a humorous way. Moderator Kimberly Setlzer was hilarious on the tour’s recent stop in Austin. She had some of the best advice, worked the crowd like a pro, and displayed great comedic timing. Her humor helped diffuse discussions that sometime became heated, and made the show entertaining as well as educational. As an added bonus, being in the audience puts you in close proximity to possible matches.
None of what I observed guarantees the GLD will be successful in the long run, but at $40 per ticket ($20 if you had the promotion code) it’s a good start.
If you are thinking about starting a business, figure out your target market, identify a problem to solve, and come up with a solution that people will pay for. You can assess the viability of your idea before you make a big investment in product development by developing a simple low-cost prototype of your solution. Present it to people who are in your target market, get feedback and ask how much they might be willing to pay. Testing the prototype will save you time, money and frustration, it might even improve your idea.
What problem does your business idea solve?