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Understanding Pain Points

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Pain points are anything that inhibits a user from getting from the beginning of a process to the end. They cause pain, frustration, and creates a burden that makes people want to stop and abandon what they are doing. Pain points are the first thing to think about when looking to start a business or solve a problem! 

What is a pain point?

A pain point is a specific problem you or your customers are experiencing. This can literally be any problem that is experienced! Many times these pain points will be experienced by many people. You know it’s a big pain point when hundreds, if not thousands of people have the same problem. 

For example, smallholder farmers face pain when their crops come into abundance for a short amount of time, resulting in a huge supply of the same crop and low market prices, as well as limited access to the crop in the off season. Take for instance mangoes, they are in season for 3 months of the year and there are millions! For many farmers, it costs them more to try to harvest them and sell them, than just letting them remain in the field. So that’s what they do. But, by using dehydration technology, you can dehydrate the mangoes and extend the shelf-life to 6 months or longer, giving you access to healthy and nutritious food in the off season, as well as creating a value-added product that has a significantly higher market price.

How do you identify pain points?

In order to properly identify the pain points your customers are experiencing, as well as define possible solutions, it is important to do customer research. 

You should ask your customers or users questions about their experience with the problem. This can be done in a variety of ways, including calling existing users, sending out surveys, in the office, and holding focus groups and workshops in your community. But the best way to get valuable insight is to talk to them face to face! 

To properly understand our customer’s pain points, we have done several customer interviews with university professors and students to understand what pain points our social impact trips solve and what value they can bring. For many universities, they are looking to offer a unique opportunity and expand their entrepreneurship programs. Very few universities offer entrepreneurship study abroad programs and even fewer to Africa. That’s where KinoSol brings value to these universities by handling all the logistics and offering this unique learning opportunity! 

Women in Tanzania assembling a dehydrator to help solve their pain point of food loss
Women assembling a KinoSol Dehydrator in Tanzania.

During our study abroad trips, university students learn all about pain points! They talk to farmers and learn about the issues they are having with growing, harvesting, and selling their produce. The students are able to brainstorm with these farmers and community groups about possible solutions. This hands-on discussion helps the Ugandan farmers and business owners learn new tactics for selling their products and students understand pain points in the real world. 

Want to learn more?

KinoSol continues to work to understand the pain points smallholder farmers face and how our solar food dehydrators can address them, as well as the pain points universities have and how we can help them better equip students with entrepreneurial experiences and skillsets. With COVID-19 and many universities going to online teaching, we’re working to solve some of those pain points around how to teach entrepreneurship online, with our online platform Launch Impact. 

Launch Impact is an online platform where we provide hands-on lessons that walk you through the entrepreneurial journey from start to finish.

So, if you want to learn more about pain points and why they are important as you’re looking to address problems and launch a business, visit www.launchimpact.org. Our first course, “Finding your next BIG idea” walks you through defining pain points and brainstorming solutions to solve these problems!