Our expertise lies in planning and strategising in the area of marketing for companies across the different spectrum of industries. What most people don’t understand is that any form of strategising & planning acts as the foundation for all businesses. What we have identified and recognise is that most business owners lack someone who would be able to view the business as a whole and to carefully map the plans & strategies based on the business plans.
Most problems that businesses owners might resonate with:
#1 I am handling too many things at once, but I have not had enough profit to hire a new person
#2 I really want to expand the business, but how?
#3 How do I increase the revenue for my business?
#4 I need a team for my business. How do I put them together?
#5 What is my companies value proposition and how do I market it out?
#6 What is my business model? How do I develop one?
#7 Is my product appealing to the public? How do I get more opinions?
#8 I am unsure of my company direction and flow. How do I stay focus?
Here is our framework in helping you alleviate some of these questions
Step 1: Spend one full day, undistracted, and relook into your business
What we do here is what most people would know – Business Model Canvas. The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management and lean startup template for developing new or documenting existing business models. It helps to give you the structure of a business plan using a visual chart with elements describing a business or product value proposition, infrastructure, customers and finances.
Find out what are the missing areas that you lack in your business and work towards solving the problem. Once you have identified it, source for the right vendors are you are ready to go!
Step 2: Identify what’s the biggest to the smallest problem in the business
We always believe in solving problems using the analytical approach by breaking down the biggest problem into smaller ones and start working your way through the smaller ones. Problem-solving is like trying to fix a 10,000-pieces of jigsaw puzzle together where each smaller problem is a smaller piece of the puzzle to find and solve, it may take you weeks or even months to find the right pieces.
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In problem solving, you must first understand what you are facing before you are able to break the problem into smaller parts and tackle it bit by bit. If your problem-solving process is unable to help your clear your doubts and get a clearer picture of the problem at hand, no matter how you try to execute all methods to the highest possible ever, it will still never be resolved. The reason that most people fail to solve their problem is due to inappropriate approaches used without even realising that the fit is not right. You can search high and low, or come up with many solutions to tackle the problem, but even the most brilliant effort will lead to nought if you are not using the appropriate analytical approach. Lack of a process that fit the problem is why the alchemists failed to turn lead into gold. It is also why so many people and organisations, as well as entire social movements, are failing to turn opportunities into successes.
So how do you find the solution to your problem?
First, you have to figure out what is the main problem of your business by brainstorming and collecting facts. Second, come up with various questions about the problem and try to answer it. This will usually lead you to the roots of the problem and collection of facts. Thirdly, facts could be obtained using the methods such as interviews, observation, brainstorming, facilitated focus groups and surveys. This will help you to understand the real issue beneath all the problem. Fourthly, analyse your problem by using various quantitative method to help you decide on a solution. Lastly, derive all possible solutions to the problem based on the analysis and select the best solution for all problems.
Step 3: Stop operations (if possible)
Operations are the only reason why you are so distracted from work. From meeting clients, after-hours networking, team training, overview of operations, coming up with new promotions and having to look after employee’s welfare. You are so swarmed out with many things at one go that you do not have time for a breather. This will, in turn, lead to an occupational burnout where it will leave you in the state of chronic stress and frustration, leaving you emotionally and physically exhausted, feeling of cynicism and detachment, a sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment. To help alleviate the problem, we must first turn off all root causes and find a way to balance things so that it will not lead to a major burnout. Stop operations for a week to figure things out and do a problem-solving analysis.
Step 4: Speak to different people to get a second opinion
If you are meeting people almost everyday, it is good to get a differing opinion. Find out how are they managing their business, and how do you implement it to yours. You can even speak to your ground staff as employees are the one that is constantly facing your customers. They will be the one to have first-hand experience on what problem they are facing from day to day operations. Getting an early handle on minor issues before they become big problems is the key. Running away from any problem will only increase the distance from the solution. The easiest way to escape from your problem is to solve it. Our to go quote: find the primary problem, and solve it.
Step 5: Acknowledge your role in your business
Another thing we have noticed is that business owners do not really know what is their role and responsibility in the business. They often do not have a fixated goal and can be fickle-minded in their decision constantly. We understand that being a Small Medium Enterprise (SME), you will need to be covered and an all-rounder. But no business is ever perfect and you should try to focus on finding your niche in the business. Do not be like a jack of all trade but master of none. Perfect what you are good at and let others handle your imperfections. For example: If you are better at being the role of the operations, find yourself a Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Or if you are better at execution, then find yourself a chief operations officer (COO). There is always a solution for every problem. So identify your role and own it.
Step 6: Find the right talents
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This is always the heart of most problems, finding the right people for the job. Talents are everywhere and you need to acknowledge them. But the problem is that you will need to identify what talents you need to fit into the role. It comprises of finding someone who carries the same value system as your business vision and will enable them to work towards the same goal. So how do you recruit the best talent for your company?
First, ensure that your business has a great mission and vision to entice the right talent to join you. Did you ever wonder how Steve Job convinced John Scully to join him back them? He said the following: “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?”. Changing the world sounds so much more enticing than selling sugar water, it makes Apple sound like an interesting and fun company that have now since revolutionize the way technology is being used.
Secondly, hire your fans. This would mean to hire someone who will take ownership of their role and are people who will work harder compared to regular employees. If they truly enjoy working for your businesses, they will naturally help do free mouth marketing by letting their friends know how great it is to work for you. If they do not have the right skills for your company, you can find them a role that will let them fit in. Afterall, attitude can trump skills in some roles.
Lastly, be a great brand to work with and your talents will naturally provide free word-of-mouth advertising for your businesses. Ensure your current employees are happy with their work environment, by building and maintaining a great company culture. Be the great place that everyone wants to work at and great people will naturally follow. People who enjoy their jobs, co-workers, and environment will work harder, churn less, and add more value to your company.
Step 7: Start solving the problem
Once you get that in place, start solving these problems. But always remember more haste, less speed. Remember to always go for quality and not speed despite the urgency of matters as trying to hasten anything might just make you lose focus at hand. This will eventually be your long term investment, so learn to thread carefully.
This is may sound easy, but it is one of the toughest things that we recognise to do. This takes beyond patience to ensure that things will execute smoothly. Finding the right talents, vendors takes a lot of time. It could vary from weeks, months and years. But what we do, will help you expedite this process.
If you have differing view, do share with us. We endorse sharing for better growth.