As a business owner, you are likely to run into many different obstacles every day, whether they are moral, monetary, or relationship-related. Learning to “triage” these problems, or prioritize how to manage these issues and deal with them is the best way to keep your business running smoothly, as well as reduce your stress and strain. Here’s how to triage your problems and then solve them.
Add the Item to Your To-Do List
This is vitally important and the number one rule of triaging your business problems. When a problem occurs, do not count on your brain to remind you to deal with that problem. You need to deal with it quickly, so make sure you understand the full scope of the issue, and then put it on your to-do list as a priority.
Evaluate Each New Problem Objectively
Whether the issue is whether or not to give someone a day off or how to deal with a negative review or comment, you need to take a moment, step back, and evaluate the issue with an objective eye. Are you miffed that someone criticized you or are you miffed because the comment is untrue? Do you not want to give your employee the day off because you haven’t had a day off in three years or because they are always asking for time off and never giving anything back to the business?
Give Yourself a Moment
It’s never a good idea to deal with a problem if you’ve allowed that problem to put you in a panic. If the issue can be delegated, delegate it. If it can’t, step back, and do something else to give yourself a moment to calm down. This doesn’t mean take three days to think about it and let it tear you apart—it means you should go sort receipts for ten minutes and then return to the problem. Just make sure to give yourself enough space to detach emotionally, and renew your spirits.
Ask for Advice
If there is someone that can give you good advice on this topic, don’t be afraid to reach out to them and to ask for that advice. Again, do this quickly. Don’t ruminate on the issue for five hours before you decide to see if anyone can offer any advice. If you have a mentor or a sponsor who could provide some insight, now is the time to reach out to him or her.
Bring in Someone to Help You
If you don’t have the expertise to solve the problem on your own, then bring in someone to help you. You will often be amazed at what a little bit of consulting can do for your business. Additionally, sometimes it’s nice to get advice, but if you need more than just a little advice, don’t feel bad about investing in extra help.