As an entrepreneur, you face a wide variety of challenges each and every day in business. Although some may have simple solutions, others can be tough to resolve. Unfortunately, these more intractable problems could either raise your costs, lower your profits, or completely derail your business project.
However, what often appears to be impossible to solve may, in fact, be amenable to a systematic process for problem-solving. In short, simply by changing your approach to a problem, you might be able to turn things around for your business, transforming business threats into unexpected business growth opportunities.
One common problem you might face as an entrepreneur is uncertainty about how a particular project will work out. This nervousness is not due to a lack of confidence but due to the fact that you have difficulty in defining the project, struggle with finding relevant data on what your target audience wants, needs and desires, and feel overwhelmed when trying to decide on what direction to go. As a result of your confusion, you are not sure how to deliver on the promises you boldly made to stakeholders who funded the project nor what instructions to give your team on how to move forward.
How to Solve Business Problems
One way to solve the more difficult types of problems you will come across as an entrepreneur is to earn Green Belt Certification, which is a lean six sigma methodology.
As an example of how effective this type of training can be for your business, let’s take a look at how this type of problem-solving training can help you manage your business projects better.
You will run your business projects more cost-effectively. When resources are wasted in a project, costs rise and production efficiency drops. Resources in a project are wasted when there are defects in a process, when there is overproduction, and when there are long wait times. For instance, a defect in a project might be due to broken parts, overproduction issues may arise because there are too many extra reports which cause information overload, and long wait times could be due to delays related to waiting for approvals, equipment, or large order batches. Resources might also be wasted when skilled worker’s talents are not utilized or under-utilized; when there is an unnecessary movement of staff, equipment, information, or materials; or when there is too little or too much inventory. By recognizing that these wastes exist in the first place, it will be possible to take measures to reduce or eliminate them.
You will understand the story behind your project, clarifying your comprehension through greenbelt storyboard checklists and one-page executive summaries.
You will be able to define why your business project exists in the first place. You will get clear on what problem it is trying to solve, what your overall goals should be, and what the scope of the project might be.
You get better at gathering the information that you need to make informed decisions. You will learn how to make plans for collecting data. It will make a huge difference when you make clear decisions on what type of data you need to collect, how much data you will need to collect, how the data will collect it, and who will do the work.
You will find the root cause of the problem that your business project is trying to resolve, understanding what issues you are trying to deal with and what hidden opportunities might arise once you find the best solution.
You will improve the solution once you find it. You will use tools like Proof of Improvement, Run Charts, Box Plots, and Histograms to measure the efficacy of your discovered solution.
You will get closure on the project by reviewing the lessons you’ve learned, evaluating what soft or hard savings you achieved, and what potential the solution has for use in a similar situation in the future.
In the final analysis, your success as an entrepreneur boils down to one thing—how effective are you at solving problems. Chances are that the better you are as a problem-solver, the more your business ventures will flourish. However, problem-solving is not always easy. While common sense solutions and intuition may resolve some problems, others can only be cracked through the use of a formal problem-solving methodology.