May 16th through the 20th is National Small Business Week.
It’s an opportunity to honor the spirit of the entrepreneur and thank them for the benefits growing businesses bestow upon our economy and community – job creation and poverty reduction. This year I thought it would be nice to not only thank them but also provide a helpful business best practice.
Reap What You
Business owners, and for those aspiring to become entrepreneurs, your ability to achieve the ultimate reward – doing good while doing well – hinges on how well you solve problems for your customers.
The following 5 step problem-solving methodology produces substantial benefits:
- Identifying the correct problem. This is the linchpin to everything else. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as one might think. Ask the right people a lot of questions about what the problem really is, instead of guessing and making a snap decision.
- Get creative. Brainstorm possible solutions, the best ideas are generated when you have the opportunity to bounce them off others.
- Evaluate. The pecking order of choice is 1) the impact on the goal, 2) the level of complexity (time & money), and 3) measurability.
- Execute. Take action. One would be surprised at how often this step is skipped. This is why Nike’s slogan of ‘Just Do It’ is so strong.
- Validate. Did the assumptions hold true.
Bonus: Learn how to and when to pivot (deciding what to change and then take action to reconfigure some part(s) of the solution)
Is it worth the effort? Absolutely, the payoff for executing is a profitable, successful, and focused entity with satisfied customers. And that is your goal isn’t it?
Donald McMichael teaches BE 261: Starting a Small Business.