By Evan Vitale
Problems – big ones, small ones and difficult ones – are going to pop up in any business environment from time-to-time. How you approach and solve business problems is going to be an important factor in how your business succeeds along the way.
Business problems aren’t fun. They can slow you down, burn billable hour,; cause stress, create tension in your company and more. Some owners and members of the management team are better problem solvers than others. If someone comes to you and needs a problem solved, don’t think for a moment that the problem is your fault. Instead, you might be asked to solve a problem because you’re an excellent problem solver!
Lots of people solve problems every day. Doctors, for example, solve medical problems. Lawyers solve legal problems. Mechanics, car problems, etc.
However, problems facing you and your business will differ depending on the industry and size of your business.
For example, a client of mine served the manufacturing and metals industry, where most of their problems had to do with meeting construction deadlines, deliverables and, sometimes, a shortage of needed stainless steel products in order to meet customers’ demands. Sometimes, unfortunately, someone’s problem might become your next problem (a shortage of raw materials might mean you can’t produce enough goods or meet production goals).
Another client was growing at an incredibly fast pace, so he hired many temporary staff members to help with the client load. However, the amount of time he had to spend in training new staff, he may have been able to service his clients and save a ton of expense in training and human resource issues.
One of the best ways to handle a problem is to meet it “head-on.” Start communicating. Talk to your team. Talk to vendors and customers. Pick up the phone and call them (it is much better to be verbal when dealing with a problem than it is to send an e-mail).
Never ignore a problem. It won’t go away. Dealing with a problem today will be better than sleeping on it tonight. Tomorrow, the problem might be worse.
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