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You have a great idea for a business! But is there a market for it?

So you have an idea for a new venture and you’re itching to roll the sleeves up and jump straight in!

But before you do, can I quickly ask – “Have you done your research or tested your business idea?”

I hope the answer is yes! If so, don’t let me hold you up, unleash that entrepreneur spirit on the world.

If you said ‘No!’, then you better sit down, we need to have a chat.

Did you know that 42% of businesses fail because there is no market demand for their product or service? That means that they failed before they even started (and they didn’t even know). Which is heartbreaking, as a small business owner myself I know how much blood, sweat, tears, emotion and money goes into building a business.

If you’re in the “No, I haven’t done any research” camp, then don’t worry – help is at hand. One framework we utilise here at sixty:forty is Jobs To Be Done. The JTBD Framework is a great tool that can help you validate your business idea and ensure that there is actually a demand for it.

What is the ‘Jobs to be done’ framework?

The Jobs To Be Done framework was first developed in the early 2000s by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen. The framework is based on the simple premise that people don’t just buy products or services, they actually “hire” them to do a specific job.

For example, people don’t just buy a drill because they want a drill, they buy it because they need to make a hole. And it’s the same with any product or service – people don’t just buy it for the sake of it, they buy it to do a specific job.

Anthony W. Ulwick founder of Strategyn, has written extensively on the topic, and his work was instrumental in popularizing the Jobs To Be Done framework. sixty:forty co-founder Sheree Cusack recently interviewed Tony Ulwick about the JTB Framework, you can watch this below.

What ‘types of jobs’ are there?

There are six main types of customer needs that businesses need to be aware of:

  1. The Core Functional Job-to-be-done
  2. Desired outcome on the core functional job
  3. Related Jobs
  4. Emotional and Social Jobs
  5. Consumption Chain Jobs
  6. Financial Desired Outcomes

The Jobs To Be Done framework is a great tool that can help businesses understand what their customers are trying to accomplish. By understanding the six main types of customer needs, businesses can be better equipped to provide the products and services that their customers want and need.

  1. Core Functional Jobs-to-be-done are the basic tasks that customers need to accomplish with a product or service. For example, if someone is looking for a new car, their core functional job-to-be-done is to find a mode of transportation that will get them from point A to point B.
  2. Desired outcomes on the core functional job are the goals that customers hope to achieve by using a product or service. In the example of the person looking for a new car, their desired outcome might be to find a vehicle that is safe, reliable, and affordable.
  3. Related Jobs are tasks that are related to the core functional job-to-be-done, but are not essential to accomplishing it. For example, someone might use their car to listen to music or make phone calls.
  4. Emotional and Social Jobs are the needs that customers have that are not essential to the task at hand, but may make the experience more enjoyable. For example, someone might want a car that makes them feel good about themselves or makes them look cool in front of their friends.
  5. Consumption Chain Jobs are the tasks that need to be done in order to use a product or service. For example, someone might need to buy gasoline or get their car serviced in order to keep it running.
  6. Financial Desired Outcomes are the goals that customers have for their finances. For example, someone might want to find a car that is affordable or that will save them money in the long run.

How can you use the ‘Jobs To Be Done’ framework?

There are a few steps you can take to use the Jobs To Be Done framework to validate your business idea:

Step One: Understand the customer’s problem.
What is the customer trying to accomplish? What are their goals? What are their pain points?

Step Two: Identify the core functional job-to-be-done.
What is the customer trying to do?

Step Three: Identify the desired outcomes on the core functional job.
What are the goals that the customer is hoping to achieve?

Step Four: Identify related jobs.
What other tasks are related to the core functional job-to-be-done?

Step Five: Identify emotional and social jobs.
What are the needs that customers have that are not essential to the task at hand, but may make the experience more enjoyable?

Step Six: Identify consumption chain jobs.
What tasks need to be done in order to use the product or service?

Step Seven: Identify financial desired outcomes.
What are the goals that customers have for their finances?

How can I find out what jobs need to be done?

One way to learn about the jobs your audience is trying to achieve is to simply talk to them directly.

  • This can be done through customer interviews, surveys, or focus groups.
  • Another way to learn about the jobs your audience is trying to achieve is to observe them as they use your product or service.
  • This can be done through user research or usability testing. Finally, you can also learn about the jobs your audience is trying to achieve by looking at data. This can be done through analytics or market research.

What do I do if there is no demand?

If you go through the process and come to the conclusion there is a demand for your business idea, that is a win! You can move forward knowing that your chances of success have improved.

If you go through the process and come to the conclusion there is NO demand for your business idea, that is also a WIN! You now have the opportunity to fine-tune your idea to ensure you are solving a problem before you waste a tonne of time and money.

It is important to validate your business idea before you invest your time and money into an idea that is destined to fail. The “Jobs To be Done” framework can help you understand the tasks that customers need to accomplish with your product or service, the goals they hope to achieve, and the needs that they have that are not essential to the task at hand but may make the experience more enjoyable. By taking the time to understand this framework, you can amend your idea to ensure that there is a demand for it.

sixty:forty has created The Lab course which helps people validate their business idea before they launch. This course utilises the “Jobs To be Done” framework and provides guidance on how to use it to validate your business idea.

Learn more about the Lab and how it can help you ensure that your business idea is successful.

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