Identifing your business problems and how to fix them.
In a perfect world, every business would operate smoothly and without a hitch. But as we all know, it’s not a perfect world, and it always seems like there are more business problems than you can tackle.
But there are different kinds of business problems. There are the interpersonal ones, where two employees don’t get along and it affects their work ethic. And there are operational ones, where there’s a piece of the puzzle that isn’t moving as quickly or efficiently as it could.
Interpersonal business problems are usually fairly easy to identify. If the problem is actually making it difficult for someone to do their job well, there’s a good chance that either another staff member will notice, or they’ll identify the problem themselves. Operational business problems are more difficult to identify. Your business has many moving parts, and a lot of people running them. But no matter the type of issue, problems affect your business’ productivity and profitability, and big or small, they need to be solved.
Problems affect your business’ productivity and profitability, and big or small, they need to be solved.
How to identify
The first place to start is by asking your staff. They’re on the front line every day, they know exactly what’s going on and they can see how to make work easier for themselves. And by approaching them first, you’re able to tackle both types of business problems at the same time. They might not be able to offer solutions, but if they tell you that it takes ten steps to complete one task, it might be worth looking into. But as creatures of habit, we often get used to the way things are done and forget there may be a simpler way. So if your employees don’t identify any problems, that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
It’s important to make sure your business is always running as smoothly as you think it is, with the numbers to prove it. Unless you’re monitoring exactly how your business is performing, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where your problem areas or inefficiencies are. If you have a tool to monitor the success of your business, it’s much easier to see where things fall off the radar or get stuck in a bottle neck.
One place many business owners forget to look for problems is in their own work. But you are just as capable of creating inefficiencies as any of your staff, and if you want to find business problems, it’s a good idea to start from the top and work your way down.
How to solve business problems
after identifying them.
Okay, this is the part everyone wants to know. Everyone wants to solve business problems with minimal effort, minimal changes, and minimal expenses. But when you go into it with that mentality, it’s difficult to effectively make a change.
The truth is there’s no single formula that’s guaranteed to solve your problem, Michael Cooper has laid out an effective nine-step strategy that helps dumb it down so you don’t overcomplicate your solution, but the results will vary from problem to problem and business to business.
When it comes to solving business problems with staff, it’s important to hear both sides of the story individually, before sitting down with both parties to discuss the issues. From there, it’s all about how reasonable your staff is and how severe the problem was, but it comes down to good communication and empathy. It sounds simple in theory, but as soon as you’ve got an employee who won’t drop the issue, things get complicated.
But with business operations, you’re in control. You call the shots. You dictate how the business is run, and that makes solving the issue a lot easier. Once you’ve identified the business problem, it’s up to you to put the steps in place to solve it.
In order to effectively solve your problems, it’s important to have the tools in place to identify them, and lines of communication that are open so people can voice their concerns when they notice problem areas. But once you identify business problems, it’s up to you to take the steps to fix them, because pointing them out isn’t enough.
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About The Better Software Company
The Better Software Company offers a fully-integrated Franchise Operating System (FOS) to help owners improve and simplify their entire business, using a cloud-based model. Integrated features, including CRM, scheduling, billing & invoicing, reporting & analytics and inventory management, offer business owners simplicity and ease of use that will save time. The software is configured to service small and medium sized enterprises in a diversity of vertical markets. The Better Software Company is based in Ottawa, Canada.