Make no mistake, you can waste hours of your time looking for solutions to problems that others can recommend in seconds. This is no insult – it’s merely recognising that people have unique experiences, perspectives and knowledge.
The trouble is, so many business owners don’t see it. So many are convinced that the knowledge in their head and their way of problem-solving is the best. Freeing oneself from this mind trap is one of the greatest liberations.
As someone looking from the outside in, you know about this mind trap, which means you are in a position to benefit from other people’s expertise now.
This is especially important for problems related to technology. Business process issues caused by technology require expert input to solve. The alternative is tickets, live chat and a heck of a learning curve to understand your options.
Outsourcing business problems to a partner who can solve them with the knowledge and skill that is required for IT projects will save you time, money and energy. It will also stop you from pulling your hair out and loading up on coffee.
Finding the right solution
Can’t see the wood for the trees? We hear you.
The biggest mistake you can make with problem-solving is switching into solution mode when you don’t fully understand the problem. If you want to find the right solution, the first thing you need to do is properly diagnose your problems.
As John Dewey said, “a problem well put is half solved.”
The first thing you should do is write out the current situation with input from those who have experienced it. Paint a picture that presents the problem and the effect it is having so that the problem has context and meaning.
Here’s an example: We spend 2-3 hours per day ensuring stock levels and prices in our e-commerce store are up-to-date. This process takes us away from activities that could grow sales and it is impacting our bottom line.
Next, we like to look at the basic need of the problem. In the example above, we can establish the problem is manual stock importing.
To articulate problems, we like to use a simple exercise:
- Define the basic need – You are looking for X
- Define the desired outcome – You want X to achieve Y
Here’s an example:
- I’m looking for a solution to automate stock importation
- I want the stock importation solution to fully replace manual input
Next, you need to prioritise problems based on size and urgency. For example, problems that are impacting sales are more important than those impacting the staff canteen. This is crucial so you allocate resources to the right areas.
Outsourcing business problems
You need to decide what problems require input from someone else. Some things, like IT and software development, should definitely be outsourced unless you are an expert. But even then, your time may be better spent elsewhere.
Sometimes, outsourcing partners can be so good that they identify problems in business processes for you. For instance, you may think you have a problem with your shopping cart because people abandon it, but you may have a plugin that conflicts with the checkout and stops it from loading. This would be an important catch.
Here are some other examples of outsourceable processes:
- Integration of CRM software into websites (example problem – we want to pull data from the CRM into the website)
- Rewriting legacy software (example problem – we have old software that doesn’t meet modern standards for the Google Play Store)
- Updating multiple e-commerce listings at the same time (example problem – we have products on two platforms and want to update both listings at the same time from within our website)
- Automating stock importation and updates (example problem – we have to manually check stock lists and update them manually)
- Automating data entry for customer profiles (example problem – we have to update customer profiles from spreadsheets)
Some of these problems would require a custom coded module or plugin while others could be solved with an out-of-the-box solution.
It’s important to recognise that outsourcing is an intelligent business decision. It doesn’t mean passing off responsibility or control – these are still yours; you are simply delegating tasks to people better-suited for them.
Take the next steps
By partnering with Dunamis, you can be assured of high-quality digital solutions for your biggest business process problems. We specialise in product development, re-engineering, enhancement and support for a wide range of technologies.
Call us today on 0121 798 0249 for a chat about your needs.