One thing I spend most of my day doing is helping clients solve business problems. The problems and challenges we encounter in business are what can make running and managing a business interesting but also stressful.Facing problems in business is normal. Your business rarely stays in the same place for long.
When it’s growing, you face growing pains such as managing all the work and deciding when it’s safe to take on new staff. When it’s not growing, you may face challenges with marketing and selling your products and services. While cash-flow problems can hit you whether you’re growing or not.
Often, when we’re faced with a problem, it’s very human to experience these reactions:
Pressure to come up with the perfect answer
Focus on what we don’t want
It’s these reactions that make problems more difficult to solve. Yet, to be successful in business, we need to have some efficient strategies to solve problems quickly and move forward decisively.
Here are 3 ideas to help you find great solutions to difficult business problems:
1. Decide what you want to happen instead of the problem. For instance, if your marketing isn’t bringing you enough enquiries, describe to yourself how many enquiries you’d like to get each week and what would be your ideal clients. It seems an obvious thing to do but actually, when we have a problem, we can get bogged down in focussing on what we don’t want. The problem with that is that our brains find solutions more easily when we focus on what we do want.
2. Ask yourself what I call ‘have your cake and eat it questions’. Often situations feel like a problem because the solutions we can think of make us feel we will lose out whichever direction we take. For instance, a common dilemma for business owners I work with is that they would desperately like to have more quality time for family, friends and holidays. But, they fear that if they spend less time in the business they’ll lose income. So, it seems like a difficult choice between more time or more money. What ‘have your cake and eat it’ question have I asked that has helped to spark creative solutions? One is, ‘How can you earn more money in less time?’ Your brain is a question answering machine and asking the right questions can jog it into coming up with some brilliant answers.
I bet this amazing idea for a bus that cars can drive through came from asking ‘have your cake and eat it questions’:
3. Talk to someone, like a business coach, who is trained to help you think outside your box. Friends, family and colleagues can be helpful but they often rush in with solutions before they’ve properly helped you diagnose the real problem. Then they sometimes get upset when you reject their ideas.
Would You Benefit from Working With a Business Coach?
If you would like to discover if working with a business coach would benefit you and your business, we’d like to offer you a FREE Business Growth Strategy Session. This is 60 minutes where we’ll focus on what’s working in your business and what you’d like to work better. We’ll talk about what’s important to you and how you’d like your business to be. Then we’ll share with you some tailor-made tips that will help you take your business to the next level.
If you find the session has been useful, you might want to continue working with us.
Interested? Simply click here to complete the form on the contact page of this website and we’ll do the rest.
CAMBITION Business Guidance Programme Leader