In previous weeks, we’ve learned that a strong vision, team, and ability to collect and analyze data are paramount for success, so now we’ll address problem solving to make your best business.
Developing fine-tuned problem solving skills as an entrepreneur enables small business owners to thrive in a constantly competitive market. Whether the problems are big or small, crafting a clearly outlined process of solving issues will make any sort of bumps in the road much easier to navigate, which will save you time and money in return. By breaking down the process, the step-by-step journey to solving problems becomes much easier.
Before doing anything else, it is critical to define the problem. Naming the problem, giving it specific details and data, and collecting all pertinent information makes it much easier to understand and face the issue. Wholly understanding the situation makes sure that you don’t waste time addressing errant concerns. It is necessary to explicitly illustrate exactly what the problem is and consider all of its related factors in play so that you can analyze the problem. Having all the details to the defined problem makes the analysis easier; you can properly compartmentalize specific components of the issue and make a game plan that is organized and well thought out.
Once the problem is properly described and scrutinized, it is time to devise a plan. This plan should be formed in phases. Talk it out with your employees who are working with you to solve the problem. Sometimes having discourse to talk through plans of attacks allows you to work through good and bad ideas to achieve the best results. Get on the same page as those involved by getting together for a meeting to avoid any miscommunication that wastes everyone’s time. Talking it out with your team also allows you to integrate new ideas and perspectives that you wouldn’t have had if you were problem solving alone. Often, having a group of people with the same goal around you can be beneficial when solving any issues.
Once you have a prescribed course of action, follow through with it. Remember it is important to solve your problems in a timely fashion, so whenever you formulate your plan, avoid putting it off and do it as soon as possible. It can be easier said than done, but don’t waste all of the time that you spent planning by simply never putting your solution into motion. Great business owners act on their word.
Finally, don’t forget to reflect upon your actions after making efforts to solve a problem. Often this step is skipped, but reflecting on your plan helps you better form your problem solving process. Ask yourself a series of follow-up questions. Was the outcome what you expected? Did the plan work well? What could have gone better? Would you take the same course of action if you could do it all over again? These are just some of the best questions you can ask yourself to determine whether your plan was as successful as possible.
Having a down-pat process to solving process is just one of the many necessary skills to becoming a successful business owner. To problem solve well, ensure that every time a problem arises that you define and analyze the problem to know exactly what you’ll be solving. Then, get together with your employees who will be helping you to talk out the issue, brainstorm with new ideas, and get on the same page of your game plan. After you’ve talked it out well enough, follow through on your plan and then reflect upon it. How your problem solving process is carried out is up to you, but taking these simple tips into consideration will make that potentially difficult job much easier, which helps you make your best business!