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The Team at NOW bring you topics of interest to owners of small businesses. Please feel free to leave a comment or let us know if there are particular topics you'd like us to cover.

Problem solving

The Team - Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Problems, problems! 

It seems the more business we do, the more problems arise. 

If your wonderful little gem of a small business idea has now resulted in you becoming the chief fire fighter in your business, you will appreciate the frustrating nature of problem-solving.

Now, we could tell you that problems are just challenges or learning opportunities – but, let’s face it,  that’s not going to be of much help to you when the PC has given up the ghost, you can’t find that important document and your trusty office assistant has telephoned in sick for the third time this month is it!

So, is there a practical way of approaching problems and reaching a viable solution? Well, we think there is. 

However, what you need to do when facing problems is to remember and appreciate this one important fact – you know the answer and just need a process to get it out from your subconscious filing system.

If you have accepted this premise (and why not, you are a business owner when all is said and done) then take a deep breath, find a quiet place and ask yourself these 5 questions:

  1. What exactly is the problem?
    Define it precisely, accurately and objectively.  Just the facts now – emotions can cloud your judgement.
  2. What is the cause of the problem?
    Detail all the underlying factors as you see them.  Try to list everything!
  3. What are possible solutions?
    Don’t think too deeply here.  Be spontaneous.  On a blank sheet of paper brainstorm 6 or 7 potential solutions (or use NOW Business Mastery’s Aspiration/Brain pad).  When you have exhausted the alternatives look at them more closely and then rank them in terms of how you perceive their effectiveness, numbering them accordingly.
  4. What methodology or resources should I use to fix the problem?
    List people, technology and approaches that should or must play a role in the solution.  Put a time-frame around the solution to make it real.
  5. What is the ultimate goal?
    What will you accomplish by fixing this? What does the ideal solution look like?  Is it really worth correcting or can it just be avoided?  Listing these factors also helps you to really celebrate when you have the problem licked.

Approaching problem solving in this way makes seeming insurmountable problems easier to understand and provides clear focus.  Suddenly the overwhelming fog clears and you are free to getting back to doing what you want to do – building and growing that thriving business.

Comments
Dave commented on 30-Mar-2010 02:17 PM
In point 3 you mention Now Business Mastery's Brain Pad. Is this on the site somewhere?
Jon Elbery commented on 02-Apr-2010 09:54 AM
Dave,
Click on the link in the blog to download

Jon

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Small Business Owners Deserve More Fun, Cash, Time and Success

The Team - Tuesday, March 09, 2010
This is the first ever posting to the NOW Blog!

The Team at NOW Business Mastery will use this blog to provide you with useful, relevant information that you can apply to your business and generate more fun, cash, time and success.

“Business owners deserve more fun, cash, time and success” is a mantra of ours, and when you think of all the things you do in a working week, if you are spending time on tasks which don’t lead to more cash, time, fun and success then maybe you shouldn’t be doing those things!

The topics covered in this blog will range from mindset to bookkeeping, from inspiration to hiring staff and from motivation to marketing. We will present a range of articles to keep you inspired and motivated as well as nuts and bolts suggestions about ways to improve the your business.

Check out our forums too. You'll find small business owners similar to yourself asking questions and discussing issues of interest.

Business improvement comes from an alignment of mind and action and consists of hundreds possibly thousands of small steps. There are no silver bullets but if you start NOW, you’ll look back in 6 months or a year’s time and be amazed at how far you’ve traveled.

We’d very much like you to tell us what you’d find useful on these pages. Whether it’s a practical, business operational issue or a tool to keep the inspiration from flagging, contact us at team@nowbusinessmastery.com and we’ll get on to it.
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