3 questions that solve any business problem
In 13 years of mentoring solopreneurs I have met hundreds of women who all seem to experience similar problems and challenges.
Whatever the reasons, it is upsetting when customers don’t settle their invoices, associates let you down, suppliers overpromise and under deliver and existing customers take their business elsewhere. And you have no idea why.
The trouble with running a solo-business from home is that when things go wrong you can’t help feeling a little vulnerable. After all, every challenge you face comes back to you and you alone!
But there is no need to get caught in the problem trap, instead why not try to look at your problem as a challenge that you can overcome quite easily?
Solving problems always gets easier when you tap into the help that is already out there. Whilst you may be working on your own, not making important business decisions alone really makes sense.
That way you avoid making any expensive mistakes and may even be able to to grow your business faster!
The late Jim Rohn, entrepreneur and motivational speaker once suggested:
“To solve any problem, here are three questions to ask yourself: First, what could I do? Second, what could I read? And third, who could I ask?”
1. What could you do to solve your business problem?
You may have loads of ideas on how to deal with a particular challenge but the big question will often be what to do first and what comes next.
I recommend you figure out first of all what outcome you would like to achieve as it takes your focus away from the actual problem.
Then you can collect and log your ideas and potential solutions that will help you to reach that outcome. Look at all their pros and cons to identify the ones that help you achieve the best possible result.
2. What could you read?
Apart from the many business books on the market there is a ton of business information online, to help you find a solution.
My first port of call often used to be the old Business Link website, now the Gov.UK site for business, a fantastic government-funded self-help portal that covers most business scenarios, from patents and legal issues to finance and marketing.
Then there are the fantastic Donut business resource websites, including the Startup, IT, Marketing, Law and Tax Donuts.
Another useful strategy is to join specific LinkedIn groups where you can learn from people answering questions about similar challenges.
3. Who could you ask?
If you feel comfortable sharing your question with the big wide world, then online business forums are great places to access information or help.
However, please be careful about being too open with delicate questions – very few online and offline networking groups offer a confidential space, and as gossip can travel fast, it can affect your reputation.
It is not surprising therefore that many older solopreneurs avoid online forums, relying on advice from colleagues, partners and friends instead.
However, when looking for solutions to bigger challenges it is always a good idea to balance your friends’ answers with those from an expert or trusted adviser who will be truly objective.
If you don’t have a personal mentor, the next best option is to join a closed mastermind group of like-minded people. There are many different versions out there that can be found online.
My own Inner Circles (small mentoring groups) are completely confidential. It can be very reassuring to get useful input from other business owners who can relate to your questions and concerns and are willing to share their own learning and their experiences – both good and bad.
So I hope you can see that you really don’t need to be alone with your problem or challenge… and the solution could be closer than you think!
Want to take your small venture from good to great? Read my free “Passion to Profit ebook.
If you’re a blogger who would like to attract more readers, why not check out our popular blog coaching programme: www.attractreaders.com