“Watch the little things; a small leak will sink a great ship.” – Benjamin Franklin
No business is immune to small little pesky problems rearing their ugly heads, but as business owners we are often too busy frying much bigger fish and don’t spend much time focusing on the small stuff.
Here is the unfortunate news: today those may seem like small problems, but next month those will be the new big problems you are dealing with.
More often than not, when I start a conversation with a business owner they will tell me they have some minor issues just like everyone else, but things are mostly under control in their organization. Nine times out of ten those same business owners call me back a month or two later because now those small issues are sinking their business.
We’ve been focusing a lot on identifying problems for the last few weeks and this is exactly why. What seems small today can be what derails your business tomorrow.
It may seem like a necessity to ignore the “small stuff” for now until you have the time to deal with the “bigger stuff”, but really you are spinning yourself in a never ending cycle by approaching things this way.
Here are my top 4 strategies for how to solve the “small stuff” in your business while still having time to focus on the bigger things:
- Instill a culture of continuous problem identification: Ingrain your team members with the mentality that finding problems is a good thing. No one is penalized for finding a problem, but it is rewarded to not only bring a problem to the table, but also possible solutions.
- Make problem-solving a way of operating in your business: Create a process to quickly and effectively address and process through the issues you find. It can go something like this: Issue is identified, owner is assigned to issue, owner presents team with 3-5 possible scenarios and solutions, team discusses and decides on solution, owner carries out solution and assigns to other team members as necessary.
- Keep a running issues list: Not all things can be addressed at the same time. Keep a running issues list that is addressed and reviewed during every weekly team meeting so that nothing is forgotten or slips through the cracks.
- Solve the real problem: Don’t solve the surface problem, make sure you are going through a problem mapping process to get to the root of what you need to address (learn more about this in our Two Minute Tip on Tuesday tomorrow!)