How Smart Entrepreneurs Solve Problems: 5 Steps

by | Jun 30, 2021

How Smart Entrepreneurs Solve Problems: 5 Steps

You are an entrepreneur – problem-solving is what you do. It’s why you started your business in the first place: to solve a problem for others.

But problems that pop up in the day-to-day of running a business too often get ignored or put on the “for when it’s quieter” list (which, spoiler…is never). 

Or worse, problems go unrecognized altogether…and that’s an even bigger problem.

But the most successful entrepreneurs in the world are master problem solvers. Better yet, they’re master solution finders. That comes down to having a surefire system for: 

  • Getting to the core of the issue
  • Exploring different options
  • Pulling in resources
  • Maintaining focus on the main goal

That’s right…a system for problem-solving. 

Here, I’m laying out my 5-step system for problem-solving which I teach to entrepreneurs.


Where there’s a problem, there’s an opportunity


No business is built perfectly (or else you wouldn’t be reading this). So when a problem arises, it’s not only an opportunity to solve an issue but to make a drastic improvement. 

Sometimes problems and issues can be uncomfortable or unpleasant to deal with. But consider the weight they hold – a weight that’s inevitably all on you, the owner.

Now consider the feeling when that weight is gone. 

Problem-solving shouldn’t be a burden. And by mastering this 5-step system yourself, it will be a real game-changer for your business.


Step 1: Create an issues list

  • Create a central document where you record issues, problems, obstacles and barriers
  • If you have a team, ensure everyone has access to the list and is encouraged to use it as much as possible (no problem is too small)
  • Allocate a routine time in the week to examine the list
  • Select the top 3-4 issues to resolve


Step 2: Identify the ROOT cause, not the symptom

  • The stated problem is rarely the real issue; you have to dig to find the root cause.
  • Tip: ask “Why?” 5 TIMES (or more) to until you reveal the true root cause

Don’t move forward until you clearly identify the real issue.


Step 3: Discuss the issue

  • Review the issue (with your team if you have one)
  • Ask: what is the ideal end goal? 
  • Ask: what is the time frame for getting the issue resolved?
  • Allow everyone to share their thoughts, ideas, concerns, solutions


Step 4: Decide on a solution

  • The solution is often simpler than you might think
  • That said, always be prepared for facing a tricky or very hard decision
  • Always stay focused on the facts and the end goal.
  • Make a list of the required actions and agree who will be responsible for completing them.

Step 5: Evaluate the results

  • Monitor and collect data
  • Ask: did the solution meet the end goals you defined in step 3? If not, repeat the process.
  • Ask: Were there any unforeseen consequences?
  • Ask: How has your business improved as a result?

It’s less about WHAT you decide, more THAT you decide

So decide!

If you don’t, the problem remains the same or becomes bigger and more detrimental to your business.

By deciding on a solution and getting it in place, you have the opportunity to see what works and make tweaks as necessary. As an entrepreneur, each decision you make gets you closer to your end goal. 

At Cove Enterprise Hub, we work with entrepreneurs to help put systems in place for greater success.  Click here to book a FREE 30 minute call with us to discover how we can help drive your success!