Solving Complex Problems Faced by Small Businesses

By May 7, 2020 June 6th, 2023 Business Strategy Articles

Last Updated on June 6, 2023 by Dave Schoenbeck

When you own a small business, you risk running into many complex business problems throughout the lifespan of operating your company. While some of these problems will be small, many can be potentially life-changing.Your job as a business owner is to solve these problems as they appear, no matter the magnitude.

 A table full of puzzle pieces signifying a complex problem faced by a small business

Developing a solid set of problem-solving skills is essential for any small business owner. Here’s what you need to know. 

Common Problems Encountered by Small Business Owners

There are complex business problems that many CEOs will face in their lifetimes. Just a few of the complex issues faced by small businesses include:

  • Stalled momentum due to a global emergency, such as a war or pandemic
  • A lawsuit, such as a wrongful termination suit
  • Aggressively well-funded competition
  • The death or departure of a business partner
  • Major  face-paced shifts in the marketplace or technology 
  • Surviving a poor financial investment
  • Meteoric growth or contraction

These problems could be the nail in the coffin of a struggling business. However, those with grit can weather the storm. The important thing is to keep your head and look for solutions rather than throw in the towel.

6 Ways to Overcome Complex Business Problems

The struggles of small business owners can be overwhelming, but taking decisive action will help you break through to the other side. Here are a few problem-solving techniques to consider: 

  1. Find a mentor and talk it out. This can be a business coach, who will help you professionally, but it could also be a friend or a trusted colleague. A neutral third party can help you see things from another perspective. 
  2. Don’t overthink. The theory of Occam’s Razor suggests that the simplest solution is often the correct one. Therefore, there’s no need to make more assumptions than is necessary to solve a problem. 
  3. Write out a list of pros, cons, and alternatives. Committing something to paper helps the mind work through a problem subconsciously. Seeing your options written out will give you a clearer view of what path to take. 
  4. Sound out ideas with your team. While many business owners keep their problems to themselves, sharing with your employees can promote unity and make them feel valued. Often, your employees can provide a unique viewpoint that will help you see your obstacles differently. 
  5. Get to the root of the problem. The problems we see on the surface are usually a symptom of a more significant issue. Ask yourself if the obstacle you’re facing has a deeper cause. For example, a big upset that threatens the stability of your company can hint at structural failures that have been present from the start. 
  6. Be objective. When handling complex business problems, letting emotions cloud your vision is straightforward. A business can feel very personal to its owner. However, if you take your feelings out of the equation, you can only be sure you’re making the right decisions. You need to look at each problem with the objectivity of a third-party observer. 

What are the top 3 challenges you face in operating your business? Overcoming complex business problems is an essential part of being a business owner. Fortunately, when you’re stuck, a coach can help. Please fill out my contact form for a complimentary video call to discuss your obstacles and develop a strategy to get you over them. 

Coach Dave


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