JOHANNEBSURG – RUNNING a business can be challenging particularly as the world continues to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the past six months, the problems that businesses would normally face such as supply deficits and client service shortcomings have blown up to the extreme, bringing with it new challenges.
How businesses adapt will ultimately determine their success. Problem-solving, therefore, becomes essential to minimise occurrences for maximum growth and development.
Herewith is a guide on how to effect it.
Identity: Take time to understand exactly what the issues at hand are. Try to do this at the onset because a small problem can quickly snowball into a bigger one, especially if inappropriate solutions are rolled out prematurely.
Perspective: Get a few perspectives on the problems from different parties involved. For example, the problem of sales being too low may be linked to things such as poor marketing, inefficient customer service, an unattractive product or price point. The more perspectives you use to identify problems the better chances would be of finding the right solution.
Causes: Address the problems at the root cause level rather than treating the various symptoms. For example the cost of addressing the root cause of Covid-19 and finding a vaccine is likely to be a small fraction of the social and economic costs being borne by our continued efforts of containment.
Prioritising: While one specific solution may clearly be superior to all others, it may not be easily attainable or possible in the required time frame. Identify solutions that are actionable immediately rather than leaving problems unattended. After all, if the world had ignored Coviid19 until a vaccine was developed, the pandemic would have hit us worse than it currently is.
Accountability: Once you’ve decided on your preferred course of action, make sure there is clarity on who is going to carry out the different elements required. This will avoid the snowball effect businesses may be trying to avoid.
Ben Bierman is a managing director at Business Partners Limited.