(This is the second post in a series of three.)

In my last blog post, you were introduced to a framework called “Was/Now Statements” that is designed to help you gain insight on how your customer’s world has changed. In this post, I’ll be focusing on how you can create new ideas from that inspiration.

As a reminder, the structure for a “Was/Now Statement” looks like this:

When {context}, our prospects/customers want to {goal and supporting needs}, and they used to {behavior}, but now {barrier standing in the way}, which leaves them feeling {emotion}.

It articulates what your customers are trying to accomplish, how they measure success, the behavior they used to do but now can’t because of a barrier, and the resulting emotional impact.

I’ll continue using an industry example of carpet cleaning; here’s the Was/Now Statement I previously used as an example; we’ll use this to create growth ideas from.

“When I perform a thorough spring cleaning on my home, I want to rid my home of dust and allergens in an environmentally friendly way. I no longer feel comfortable letting service technicians into my home because of personal health concerns related to COVID-19 and that leaves me with a lack of accomplishment because I can’t perform the task myself.”

Once you have a Was/Now Statement created (download our free canvas here), here are three steps you can take to create new growth ideas:

  1. Minimize / remove the barrier
  2. Find new ways to deliver your product/service without engaging with the barrier
  3. Minimize/ remove the negative emotional response to the barrier

Minimize / remove the barrier. This is perhaps the most obvious step to take, but it’s also likely the most difficult (if not impossible at times). In the case of our example above, COVID-19 is the barrier that creates discomfort around having other people around to perform a service – and it’s not plausible to “remove” that as a barrier. Other barriers may be easier to overcome.

Find new ways to deliver your product/service without engaging with the barrier. If you can’t minimize or remove the barrier, you can find new ways to deliver. In the case of carpet cleaning, you could leverage a DIY solution and sell it online. You could also drop off some equipment and “rent” it to customers who then perform the service themselves.

Minimize / remove the negative emotional response to the barrier. Another option to take if you can’t remove the barrier is to minimize or remove the negative emotional response to the barrier. If customers are uncomfortable with letting service technicians into their home, how might you increase their comfort level? An example might be communicating new “safety protocols” you’ve enacted to deliver the service as well as training technicians to speak and show customers how they are taking safety precautions pre/during/post service delivery.

What you’ll find is creative growth ideas don’t happen in an absence of constraints – they happen because of them. Use the three steps above as inspiration for creativity.

Now that you have a bunch of potential growth ideas, how do you choose what to do first? We’ll help you tackle prioritization in the next post. And don’t forget we’ve built a helpful Was/Now Statement Canvas tool for you here (it’s a free PDF download, no email required).