Owning a business is no walk in the park. Most business owners spend more time working than the average full-time employee trying to keep up. However, as 50 percent of small businesses fail within the first five years, it’s a necessity.
Therefore, as a business owner, it’s vital to attend incredible industry events to hear Shoptalk speakers in order to acquire business problem-solving skills to maximize your efficiency and minimize any issues that come up. While you can’t handle every problem exactly the same, you can operate with a basic standard of approach.
Keep reading for the top business problem-solving tips.
- Identify the Problem Objectively
First, you need to take a moment to examine the problem and define the actual root of the issue. Understanding exactly why you are facing an issue is more important that what the issue actually is.
For example, if your numbers have been low for the last few months, there could be a myriad of underlying causes.
- Has a new player stepped up in your industry that’s taking away business?
- Is your marketing strategy outdated?
- Have you gained a bad reputation?
- Are your products and services outdated?
- Is there an internal issue within your team?
- Have you been putting in less effort?
- How well known are you to the public?
Any one of these issues can start to tank a business. However, the problem is often multi-faceted. Make sure you’ve clearly identified the root of the problem before you start spending time and resources trying to fix it.
- Ask for Genuine Reviews
Another great way to implement effective business problem-solving skills is by letting your audience tell you what they’re missing from you. You’ll get no better perspective on what a customer wants than by asking past clients.
You can encourage clients to visit your site and fill out a survey, have them fill it out on-site, or make a huge shout out to your followers on social media. You can send them to a link or simply have them leave comments below your post.
Regardless, getting into the mind of past and potential clients isn’t a bad way to bolster your marketing.
- Utilize the People Around You
Next, odds are you aren’t running your business completely solo. You probably have a business partner, a board of advisors, employees, or someone whose opinion you trust.
Don’t go it alone, bring people in for a meeting and lay down the issues facing your company. Then, let everyone weigh in on where they think there’s room for improvement, change, or growth.
However, you must genuinely listen to what people have to say. You may be confronted with critiques you weren’t expecting. Don’t get defensive, take this as an opportunity for personal and professional growth.
- Look for the Silver Lining
Next, practice the art of reframing. Reframing refers to the alteration in the way one thinks and perceives situations, events, emotions, etc. Mastering the art of reframing provides multiple benefits invaluable to business owners.
First, it will help you think clearly, rather than being consumed with grief or overwhelmed with emotion. Second, reframing teaches you how to shed a lack-mentality and replace it with one of gratitude. Finally, it teaches you how to uncover opportunities masquerading as problems.
Often, when one door closes, another one opens. Pay attention to signs and stay open to new things.
- Come Up with Multiple Solutions
When staring down an issue, don’t get sucked into a single-minded business problem-solving strategy. Remember the horrific saying – “there’s more than one way to skin a cat.”
You’ll rarely come across the exact same problem. Therefore, you’ll rarely be able to use the exact same solution. Treat each problem as a unique issue rather than uses a generic one-size-fits-all approach.
Use your team and come up with multiple strategies for the issue at hand. Prioritize them from most to least appropriate and start implementing solutions from the top.
- Dive Into Research
One of the best and most useful business problem-solving skills a business owner can acquire is the ability to research their way out of an issue. We are firmly embedded in the age of technology and quite literally have all the answers to life’s questions at our fingertips.
Take advantage of the tiny computer you carry with you every day and start educating yourself. Discover more about problem-solving such as the 12 agile principles, keeping stress at bay, and managing employees.
Knowledge is power.
- Make a Decision
One of the most valuable traits a business owner can possess is knowing how to make a firm decision, and quickly. We’re not saying you need to rush into everything, throw caution to the wind, and hope everything manages to work out alright. However, a good business owner doesn’t sit on a problem for months hoping it will work itself out.
Learn how to make tough decisions, take necessary action, and move forward.
- Take Accountability
Finally, don’t fall into the habit of playing the victim. In American society. we have a lot to be grateful for. However, as stated above, there’s a common lack-mentality most people have.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting more, but not in the form of being ungrateful for what’s in front of us. Similarly, we must see what’s before us and take accountability for it. The state of your business is of your own doing.
Very rarely can you point the finger at someone else and accurately blame them for your problems. Learn to accept that your business is a reflection of what you’ve put into and to embrace that positive change can only be affected through your initiative.
Approach Business Problem Solving One Step at a Time
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Similarly, business problem-solving techniques won’t necessarily fix your issues overnight. Being a business owner means growing a thick skin and learning how to figure things out on your own, through research, and with the help of others.
Good luck, and be sure to check out more of our articles before you leave!