How do you diagnose your business challenges?

How do you diagnose your business challenges?
September 19, 2013 Adeyinka Ojo

You can call them challenges, obstacles or pain but they all circle back to the same thing; issues that keep your business from moving forward. What does your organization do to recognize and address your challenges? Are you able to articulate your organization’s needs? Many business leaders think they can speak to their organizational challenges but in some cases are only touching the surface of the issue. This is because they do not take the steps to fully diagnose the issues and root causes. 

So how can you diagnose your business challenges? Here are four tips to understanding your business challenges and taking action to find a solution:

Analyze the Issue: A great business tool to analyze your challenges is called SWOT analysis. A SWOT is a structured planning method used to check the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats involved in a project or business venture. Why is SWOT a good tool for analyzing business challenges? A SWOT analysis looks at internal and external variables affecting the business challenge and can give insight into the deep-rooted issue getting you past the surface. Using SWOT as part of the process can help find, carry out and execute the best strategy.

Research the Issue: Once you have analyzed the issue it is necessary to conduct internal and external research. Internally you will want to speak with people closest to or most affected by the issue. This will give you a 360 degree look at how the issue truly impacts your organization. Externally you can learn valuable information from competitors and industry peers who may have faced and corrected similar issues. Learn what they did successfully and what was not successful. You will have a greater understanding of how to craft the solution that will meet your unique business needs.

Consult with an expert: As part of your overall assessment of the issue you will want to partner with experts to assist you. This expert may be within the organization or you may need to seek the expertise of someone outside the organization. Analyzing and researching the issue will prepare you to find the expert that will most closely meet your needs. Being able to articulate the true issue and its impact on your organization will be critical to getting the help you need.

Implement and execute the plan: This is the most critical element of addressing your challenges but often the task that is seldom completed. Once you have gathered all your information you will need to carry out and execute a strategy to fix your challenge. As you walk through this phase of addressing your challenge be sure to assign people who will be accountable for the execution of the solution and meet frequently to keep everyone on track.

No matter the size of your organization you will have pain or pressing business challenges. You must get past the surface of a challenge, find the root cause and implement a strategy to address the issue. Business leaders must remain vigilant in their journey to success.

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