Ever wonder what sets apart entrepreneurs from everyone else? When people encounter a problem, they find ways to avoid it. But when entrepreneurs face a problem, they find ways to solve it.
Managing a business is a fulfilling yet challenging venture. One of the biggest responsibilities of entrepreneurs is to set a clear strategy for their business and make reasonable choices amid competing priorities.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses were forced to close, especially those who were caught unprepared for the sudden economic blow. Meanwhile, those who are keen to start a business despite the current crisis are investing in franchise opportunities or buying online businesses instead of starting from scratch. One example is a restaurant franchise, an investment opportunity for those planning to start a food business during a pandemic.
With the pandemic going on, organizations are likely dealing with countless problems they haven’t encountered before. Now, it’s the business owner’s job to find direction amid these uncertain times. But with initiatives, opportunities, and issues popping up, it’s never easy to find which ones to focus on and prioritize. As a leader, how will you identify which issues are worth addressing immediately?
Specify the problem
If you’re just starting out, be clear and exact on what issue you’re solving. Business problems can be social, functional, or emotional. Then, identify if the problem is worth solving. How many customers are also facing this problem? Or is it something only one has experienced?
Look online and find existing statistics related to your problem. Are there any media articles, industry reports, or reliable blogs that talk about the problem?
You can also conduct customer surveys or interviews to determine which people are directly involved in the problem. A great tip is to approach your regular customers since they are already familiar with the way you operate your business. You can also ask potential customers to determine which aspect of the business you need to improve. Another technique is to conduct customer observation by finding potential clients to observe.
Know the suitability of the issue
In times of finite resources, business leaders have to redirect their initiatives to activities that will help the organization reach its long-term objectives. This issue raises the question of suitability, which should be determined first before embarking on an expenditure. Does addressing this issue fit the business strategy? Or will it cause conflict to even bigger business objectives?
Development projects can be that one area that can get a little problematic. Most leaders tend to view that any project concerning innovation or change as a means towards growth. Teams need criteria or a strategic consideration when selecting or screening projects. This will determine if they are addressing issues that may directly affect the strategic requirements of the organization.
Identify the potential impact
Once the team has identified that responding to the given issue will enable the business strategy, they have to determine if addressing the problem has a significant impact on the company. Every business issue, whether addressed or fixed, should have a favorable business outcome, but it’s important to know exactly how big the impact will be.
The most traditional and obvious method to differentiate the specific impact of each project is to allocate monetary value to every possible outcome. Estimating the profit value will help teams compare different project categories more accurately.
Determine the feasibility
There are different ways to determine feasibility. Every project has unique attributes. Some problems will need monetary solutions, while others require human investments. In turn, this will help translate monetary investments into human equivalents. Another technique is to use a scoring method to measure feasibility.
Evaluate business issues
Once a given issue meets the initial evaluation, you have to measure its feasibility and impact. Your first priority must focus on higher feasibility and higher impact projects. This will determine which impact is the most immediate and meaningful. The second one is the lower feasibility and higher-impact issues. The outcome of long-term investments isn’t immediate, but they are worth your investment in the long run.
After these actions, businesses are likely to address almost everything else. High feasibility and lower impact initiatives are easy to deal with, but they offer very little value.
Organizations that have the discipline, rigor, creativity, and right skill set have a fairly strategic advantage compared to those that don’t. The road towards business success is filled with thorns, but remember that not everything is under your control. Be attentive and aware enough in determining which problems are worth addressing and which ones are not worth your time.