If you are an entrepreneur, you are a person with many problems. They are everywhere around you. You can’t find the place to look without some type of problem ready to be solved. So, you probably want to get rid of problems.
We can say that you are a problem finder, problem maker, and problem solver at the same time. That’s the reality of entrepreneurs.
Every company is the result of an entrepreneurial idea, where entrepreneurs discover needs on the market based on some type of the customer’s problems. Here, you discover the problem and use it to create the solution as your future product or service.
As an entrepreneur, you will make decisions on an everyday basis in your company. The decision-making process is a specific part of the problem-solving process. You will make a financial decision, improvements, sales decisions, marketing decisions, employment decisions, etc. That means everywhere around you, or inside and outside your company, you will face different types of problems.
Many entrepreneurs are asking me how they can get rid of problems. My first answer is not the following question: Do you think you will have a successful business if you don’t have a business problem?
Many entrepreneurs see their lives without problems, which is impossible because we will not have problems only when we die. Also, we will not have business problems only when our business will no longer exist on the market.
It is interesting that as an entrepreneur you are faced with two types of business problems. The first one is about the problems that will occur for the first time, and the second types of problem are problems that continue to occur even you have solved them once.
So, how to get rid of problems?
1. Simply, you need to solve them if you want to get rid of problems.
Yes, the first thing you can do to get rid of problems is work on their solution. If you are not working on the solution or don’t solve them, they will always be around you and will not disappear. You are the most responsible person when it comes to problem-solving in your small business. How many problems you will solve the right way means that you will have less of them that will bother you.
2. Ensure that the same problem will not happen again, so you will get rid of problems in the future.
What if your problems continue to occur again and again even you have already solved them several times before? There is something wrong with the solutions that you implement to solve them. Because of that, if you want to get rid of problems, you will need to discover the root causes of your problems and remove them forever. Only in such a way, you ensure that the same problem will not occur again.
3. Focus your entrepreneurial attention only on the most important problems in your small business.
Because you will look everywhere for possible problems, it doesn’t mean that you need to jump working on solutions on everything or one problem to another one. You will need to be more systematic in this effort. There are a lot of unimportant problems that you can ignore. You need to be aware that existing problems, regardless of their current importance for you, can quickly become important for your company in the future, especially if you ignore them too much time. Because of that, the best way to get rid of these types of problems is to delegate them for the solution to some of your team members. Your focus must be on the few but most important and the biggest priority for your small business.
4. Don’t make each problem to be part of your formalization process.
Often, I can see that entrepreneurs use the exact process for different problems that will need different action steps. For example, many entrepreneurs call their staff on a meeting to talk about possible solutions, start the project with responsibilities and time frame, and so on. But, many problems will become solvable as you go.
You don’t need the formalizations as you learn from the books. This means that you will need to follow the 80/20 rule, with which 80% of the problems can be solved immediately in two to five minutes.
For example, I often see entrepreneurs making mistakes when they receive emails from angry customers with complaints about their products and services. This type of problem requires two types of solutions. The first solution is crucial because it will be related to the need for a quick reaction from your side to solve the current customer’s problem. This first problem requires less than two minutes to be solved. You can immediately answer the customer that the company will take responsibility for replacing the product with a new one or improving customer service. Then, you can forward the answer to a responsible team member to process the first solution. The second solution will require an analysis of the root causes of the problem. Remember that you can’t solve it instantly because it will need much more work. Such problems can be easily presented as the formalized project.
5. You can also use postponing solution for some day in the future.
You need to be aware that many problems that will not require an immediate solution or can’t be delegated to one of your team members can be postponed for tomorrow, next week, or even next month. But, one thing is essential. You can’t allow yourself to ignore such problems. Because of that, you will need to manage your scheduling for problem-solving activities for this type of problem. Also, you can’t get rid of them if you postpone and forget them. You can get rid of them only if you postpone them in the short term and solve them in the long term.
Question: How do you deal with different problems around you? Do you have some processes that you use in dealing with problems in your small business?