Generally it is easy to look at a operating a business as being a problem solver. Small start-ups, Established local business, national companies, every level of business is about recognising the problems that face you understanding them and overcoming them.
Some people are good at problem solving either through high intellect, experience, acquired skill or simply a good grasp of what a problem is and how to handle them. Some of the greatest companies, indeed some of the world’s leading business owners or entrepreneurs have no training in business, have no background of corporate operation they simply know how to solve problems. Naming no names but there is one we’d all recognise who would attest that a problem is simply an unexplored business venture…
As a simple example problem a person, let’s call them “Mr Potential Customer” is in need of a pair of shoes. Very simply do you have a pair of shoes or could you get some? Or perhaps you have knowledge of where he could get shoes? The problem now becomes potential business; you can either sell Mr P. Customer a pair of shoes, ensuring that you are monetarily benefiting, or you provide him the service, for a fee, of informing him of where to get shoes.
It’s a very rudimentary example but it encompasses the very way business owners and entrepreneurs should think. Take a moment to think about if your ‘problems’ can be potential.
Other problems are more demanding; such as banks breathing down your neck, but this needs only to be thought of in terms of how to own the problem; I won’t go into detail here but such problems require you focus inward on your company for the solutions as opposed to outward for potential growth. It’s essential that any business has a firm foundation before it can begin to grow and prosper.
As a business owner you will encounter problems. Do your best to face them, take control of them and use problems to make your business better
A problem solved is another step forward for your company.
Take time to look at your problems, they aren’t about to disappear, learn them and understand them. Define what the problem is and what it means. Don’t be too reactive, overreaction too early could only compound the problem later.
If a problem presents itself which you have no ability to control or affect, after you have taken time to learn of the problem instead of calling it a problem, refer to it as a fact. Sadly there may be issues which you simply have no control over. Learn to accept them and move forward.
Don’t bottleneck your thinking when addressing a problem. This harks back to understanding, be sure you look at the problem and do everything you can to look at it from every possible route cause or probable effect.
One of the key things to remember: Once you have recognised the problem, once you have analysed the problem and understood it. Look to the cause of that problem most likely you may find another problem. But each problem is something which you can solve, each problem is potential growth.
In all business it’s plain to see that problems generally don’t make appointments nor do they keep to a schedule. Understanding the issues will allow you to correctly prioritize your solutions. If something can be solved make every effort do so sooner rather than later. A big problem is most likely a small problem which was put off until later.
It’s been a long road but you’re nearing the end of your problem, you have potential solutions lined up eager to go, each one seems relevant, each one beneficial. Now make the choice.
Don’t “umm” or “err”, taking time to decide how to solve a problem will cost the business time and money, choose a solution. If you have ideas ready make that jump as soon as you can. Now is the time to move forward procrastinating over the solutions to a problem could end up becoming a problem of its own, your action here is to reduce problems, not make more.
If you are working with a team, and you are implementing a solution assign responsibility any vagueness of who is to undertake what will cause more problems. Each part of your team must be prepared to take ownership of their part. Failure to utilise the skills of your team is simply mismanagement and should be addressed… yet another problem. If you or your team is lacking in skills abilities or resources you must understand how to fill those gaps.
Target your desired outcomes your problem is about to go away, but you must be able to recognise when it is gone. Understand the outcome you are aiming for don’t waiver from that target, set a deadline and if you do set deadlines stick to them failure to maintain momentum will become recognisably apparent in your business.
Take control of your business, take command of your problems.