Catching And Solving Business Problems
Businesses big and small ones all take risks. Financial risks, some calculated risks, and they’re all based on the information you have to hand. But something all businesses can count on is the fact that sometimes the unexpected does happen.
Understanding how to spot and solve problems within your business, will save you money, and make your business more efficient.
It could be small daily issues, or it could be big problems. Even the most minor issue can change your ability to stay afloat.
Here are some problem-solving tips and techniques that can help, but really you need root cause analysis tools to make the most significant impact. Or it could be a big problem. Even the smallest issue can change your ability to stay afloat.
Symptom or Problem?
It is often the case that when somebody comes across a problem, they first think of fixing it. Putting technical plans together and jumping straight in. For example, if your sales are dropping, you might come up with a great new promotion to help boost sales immediately. But what happens if a decrease in your sales is just a symptom of a more significant problem?
You can look at this in a few different ways.
- Is your team performing efficiently? Do you have the right resources and tools to succeed?
- Are your competitors currently running a promotion affecting your sales?
- Is your business model sustainable? Is it realistic for you to grow quickly?
- General economy, there are significant economic issues that affect all businesses – could you survive those times?
- Is everyone within the business working towards the same goal?
- You need to have a broader look at the smaller issues. Band-aid solutions won’t last for long, and may do more damage.
Market Research and Customer Outreach
Customer outreach and market research is something that you should be doing continuously anyway. Think about the last time that you did market research. Have you recently taken a deep dive into understanding the competitive landscape of your industry? Market research and insights that you can get from your customers, can make a massive difference. Better understanding your target market, and highlighting any areas that need improvement. It is essential to remember that negative feedback is as high quality is positive feedback when it comes to your customers.
Once you have done things like a SWOT analysis, and all of that market research, you’ll be able to come up with data-driven ideas. However, the implementation of many of these ideas is going to cost time and money.You need to be sure that you can change the course of your business quickly, and remain nimble. This means modifying and adapting what you currently do to meet the needs of your customers, based on the new information you uncover.
It is effortless while working on challenging business issues to loosen the grip on things like your cash flow. However, you need to understand exactly when your business might run out of cash. If you’re dealing with serious issues, it is a good idea to make sure that all of your finances still look healthy. This is the only way that you’re likely to get a line of credit should you need it. Don’t get tunnel vision, keep an eye on your cash.
Take a holistic approach. You are not trying to treat the symptoms, you are going for the problem itself. How do you know when you have addressed this issue? Before you decide to implement a solution, make sure you understand what success looks like.
KPIs are going to be invaluable here. Make sure that you have some baseline measurements ready to build on. You must set a goal and a timeframe. Without either of these, you simply said that you want to make a difference, not that you’re going to.
When it comes to practical problem-solving in business, it’s being agile and the ability to adapt that will make the difference. It is very easy to waste a lot of resources and tools on the wrong course. Be proactive, treat your business as a living thing. Use the data you collect to set some goals and firm deadlines.
These plans will reduce your current risk, and should ensure that any long-term issues are solved. Treating the symptoms now will mean you are continuously going to treat the symptoms – never solve the problem. And you will see a lot of business cash poured into that.
The right plan would reduce risks, and give you a deep insight into the mechanisms of your business. Allowing you to move forward.