How bloody frustrating?
Someone asked me what were the best questions you should ask to make your business better quickly? Now it’s one of those where you can give people a generic answer and it’s almost a ‘fob off’, but as someone who is passionate and dedicated about making other peoples lives better, I didn’t want to do that. But then…oh my God! Complete brain freeze! So I Googled, (other search engines are available), “What questions can you ask yourself to make your business better?” And this was the first page…
Out of 18,100,000 answers, the front page was full of questions you should ask yourself BEFORE you get into business. Too late by then isn’t it?
So I’ve sat and cogitated. And rather than giving you some of the standard questions I could come up with, like “What new markets can I get into?” or “How can I lower my costs even more?”, I wanted to give you some more empowering questions that will help you understand your business a bit more and at the same time give you a powerful and positive outlook at the business no matter what condition it is in.
So lets look at some problem solving questions and lets see how they can develop any issues. Remember I’m trying to offer you five simple questions that will make you look at the business or the issues within the business in a positive and different light. Many times business owners look at things in one way. Although the definition of madness is doing things the same way over and over again, and expecting a different result, we always go back to what we already know. One of the things that hold us back is the use of language within a problem solving situation. In general people who use negative language around solving problems or combating difficulties barely make any strides forward. So when you start looking at some of the entrepreneurs who are the most successful people in the world, they tend to ask ‘different’, positive and more empowering questions.
During the 80’s Donald Trump, (yes, that guy), asked how he could make profit whilst others were frightened and paralysed to do anything. His rivals it could be said during that recession were thinking, “How do I hang on to what we’ve got?”. They had a negative view of the situation where as Mr Trump’s was a positive view of a situation. It could also be said he then changed his question as he got more successful into “What can I buy to keep ahead of everyone?” and that led to his downfall. If he had stayed with his original question, it could have been a different story.
So let’s take a quick look at your 5 questions that I want you to answer about any problem or issue you or your business is struggling with.
What is great about the problem? – Your first reaction will be, like many peoples, is “Nothing!”. But if you take a few moments, you can turn that around. If you’re a manufacturing company that’s struggling to get orders you can say, “Well I’ve done this when we first started, but now I have the experience I didn’t have before.” Or if you are struggling to fulfil orders, you could be saying “I’d have killed for this problem when I started 10 years ago…”.
What is not perfect yet? – This is where you start thinking about the nub of the problem. Is it a sales process that needs fine tuning? Is it a change of direction, a new niche that seems to be passing you by? Has the balance of cost to sales gone too far the other way? You’re not looking to reinvent the wheel here, you are looking to tweak and make something perfect.
What am I willing to do to make it the way I want it? – This is a great question to measure your commitment to getting the problem solved. Are you willing to sack the sales team and start again? Or are you willing to get them some new, different training with people that have proved they can help businesses grow and improve? What are YOU willing to do? What will be the ‘pleasure’ of getting this right?
What am I willing to no longer do in order to make it the way I want it? – What will be the ‘pain points’ if you don’t take action? Why is the worst that can happen if you don’t do something different or act upon the problem? What is the downside of changing things, with to the business and you personally?
How can I enjoy the process while I do what is necessary to make it the way I want? – This would be the most important question of the lot. You need to make whatever you’re doing fun. Otherwise it’s going to be a hard slog and chore. it will effect the implementation of what you’re doing and how you feel about the changes. remember we’re trying to make this a positive and empowering approach to business and life problems. You need to do this anyway to get a new and different approach to problem solving, so by making it fun and enjoyable (as much as it can be), you will generally have more buy in to doing it.
Try it and let me know how you get on with it.
For 1:1 Coaching email Marc at firstname.lastname@example.org