Starting or managing a business always involves problem-solving. While some people seem to be naturals at solving problems, it can be very difficult for others. The ability to find or create solutions is not dependent on the academic qualifications of a person, otherwise, the most learned people would have figured out answers to some of the toughest issues. Problem-solving is a learned practice rather than an inherent trait.
In business, some problems are very complex and call for a professional approach, which some personnel lack. Therefore, it can be beneficial to consider the employment of external systems like CORS from Global Resources Solutions (GRS) to help you to solve problems in your business. If a business is able to solve problems, especially those related to customer satisfaction, the business will thrive.
So what are the steps towards effective business problem-solving? Read on!
1. Define the problem clearly after taking time to decipher it
You should take enough time to understand the real core of the problem before starting to seek a solution. Misunderstanding a small problem can amplify it. Also, having a clear understanding of the issue quickens the processes that should follow.
2. Differentiate ‘facts of life’ or opportunities from problems
There are aspects of a business that you cannot change since they are not problems but are mere ‘facts of life.’ These are opportunities disguised or mistakenly interpreted as problems.
3. Find several definitions of the problem
You ought to be careful with problems that have only one definition. Try to define the problem in various ways, as the more the definitions you can find, the more effectively you will be able to find the best solution. An example ‘very low sales’ may indicate a poor sales method, strong competition or ineffective promotion – or a combination of all three.
4. Investigate the root cause of the problem
Seek to identify the root cause of the problem to avoid dealing with consequences that may reoccur. You will waste time sorting out the same issue if you do not address its core.
5. Come up with several possible solutions
You should try to come up with as many alternative solutions as possible, as the more you can find, the more likely you are to optimize results
6. Focus on potential solutions
You should focus on an acceptable solution that is able to be implemented within the shortest time-frame possible. This is better than waiting to find a seemingly fantastic solution with a longer implementation time that requires more resources and is more complex.
7. Make a decision
You should choose a solution and then decide how to move forward. The longer you delay tackling the issue, the more the damage will continue and the greater the costs incurred will be. Your goal should be to tackle about 80% of most, if not all problems immediately. In extreme cases, set a deadline for tackling an issue and adhere to it.
8. Allocate responsibility
State clearly who will implement the solutions or the different parts of the solution. Failure to do so will leave you with no option other than to take charge yourself.
9. Determine the measure for the solution
It is crucial to define what is deemed to be the final resolution of the solution processor it will be hard to know when and if the solution has been obtained. At times, solutions to intricate problems may have negative effects which could be more averse to the business than the problem itself. This should be avoided.
Problem-solving is a key determinant of success in any field and business is no exception. A good entrepreneur should possess top-notch problem-solving skills, amongst others.