Identifying the factors behind business success comes down to research and experience. Research might include reading business books and blogs, attending seminars, and speaking with seasoned business people. The experience might include sorting through hypothetical ideas to come up with factual answers.
Unfortunately, in all this research and verification, one factor rarely gets discussed or explored: the skill of problem-solving. This is an alarming omission because success in business hinges on your abilities to solve problems when they arise. Fortunately, a resource like https://goleansixsigma.com/ will quickly get you up to speed on how to solve your biggest problems. Developing problem-solving skills will make it far easier to achieve your goals by minimizing costs and maximizing profits. Along the way, you’ll also deliver higher value, delight customers, and rapidly grow your business.
The Nature of Business Problems
Although business life is full of problems, most businesses are able to find solutions by taking a step back and looking at the big picture. However, some business problems are more straightforward than others. Here are three of the most common problems businesses struggle to solve:
Problems that arise from bad decisions.
Although every business owner or executive intends to make good decisions, sometimes bad decisions are made based on inaccurate information. Sometimes they can be made because of one’s ego. Something may turn out to be less promising than it initially seemed to be.
Intuitively, these problems can be solved by reversing your course of action. For instance, if you made a bad investment, you can cut your losses and walk away; if you hired the wrong employee, you can let them go; or if you created a partnership in a business you’ve come to hate, you can sell out your share.
Problems due to market aberrations.
Sometimes problems are merely temporary anomalies. By simply procrastinating long enough, these problems then dissipate of their own accord, probably because they were insubstantial in the first place. For instance, a dip in sales in a week might appear problematic, but then when sales pick up the next week, it’s safe to assume the problem was a mere aberration in your sales cycle.
Problems due to a broken process.
Sometimes problems arise because things simply stop working. Perhaps, an ad that pulled well may stop bringing in more leads; or, a big client might take their business elsewhere; or, a machine may run slower and more erratically. These problems can be addressed by revising the process — the ad can be pulled and rewritten, a new client found, and a new machine purchased.
A Systematic Way of Cracking Tough Problems
While many business problems can be solved through some clear thinking, some problems tend to stick around because they represent a deeper, underlying dysfunction. Consequently, even if they temporarily disappear or get solved, they later reappear. It is these sticky problems that need to be resolved. Your business success may depend on it.
For instance– returning to our sales example– the dip in sales in a week may extend into the next week. If this slump persists into the month, then you know you have a big problem on your hands. Something has gone wrong with your marketing plan and you must find out why customers have suddenly become unresponsive.
The reason these problems are sometimes difficult to resolve is that you can’t figure out what to do about it. You may be mystified as to why the problem even exists. Why, for instance, might a product that has sold well for a long time suddenly no longer appeal to your customer base?
These kinds of problems need to be tackled in a more systematic way. Business success heavily depends on structured solutions. One Six Sigma methodology that works well to find the root cause of a problem and come up with a solution to it is called DMAIC.
The DMAIC Process
1. Define. Get a clear idea about the problem.
2. Measure. Quantify the problem.
3. Analysis. Find out the root cause or causes of the problem.
4. Improve. Come up with a list of possible solutions, experiment with them, and then verify the one that works.
5. Control. Figure out ways to control the problem so that it doesn’t recur at a later date.
It takes a wide range of factors to create a successful business, especially for businesses that place an emphasis on building a team spirit among staff and a harmonious relationship with clients. However, one often overlooked factor is acquiring the skill to solve difficult problems that require technical or quantitative solutions. If you’re wondering how to transform an idea you sketched on a napkin into a multimillion-dollar business success, you need to get good at figuring out many bewildering problems along the way.