It doesn’t matter if you run a busy restaurant, or a fast-paced business.
Your customers have high expectations.
And when you can’t live up to them.
You are guaranteed to fail.
That’s why clueless chefs make the worst types of problem solvers.
Let me explain.
You’re in an unbelievably hot kitchen.
There are dozens of waiters running into one another.
They’re shouting instructions at people who aren’t even listening.
And rummaging through their aprons to find tiny pieces of paper with orders hastily scribbled down on them.
In the back – Young men & women rush to pile mountains of dirty dishes in already overloaded sinks, machines & washbasins.
Rows of confused line chefs fight over insufficiently stocked baskets of ingredients.
They throw burnt pieces of meat into overflowing trashcans.
And struggle to put the finishing touches on dishes that had to be served 30 minutes ago.
Sounds pretty awful, doesn’t it?
It gets worse.
The person who is supposed to be in charge of the entire operation (The head chef) –
Is out in front – chatting up patrons.
(Who do their best to hide the frustration that has been building up inside them over the course of the “meal”).
He’s blissfully unaware that anything is going wrong.
He has no idea how close his restaurant is to complete failure.
Here’s the brutal truth:
90% of restaurants fail in their first year.
And given the nightmarish scenario painted above – are you surprised?
Neither am I.
In fact – if you consider the overwhelming number of variables managers have to deal with everyday.
It’s miraculous that any restaurants succeed at all – right?
The harsh reality is… If these chefs knew how to properly identify, analyse & solve the problems they were faced with.
This entire scenario could have been avoided (easily).
And for the 9 out of 10 entrepreneurs whose businesses failed as a result – this is the saddest part.
But before we start pointing fingers & playing the blame game.
Let’s take a look at what went wrong – so that you can learn from these mistakes.
And see exactly how you can avoid being the Clueless Chef when managing your own business (no matter what business that may be).
Why 90% of business fail:
The biggest failing of the Clueless Chef was not that he didn’t know what to do.
And it wasn’t that he didn’t know how to do it.
Think about it.
Not everyone who owns a failing business is ignorant of the inner workings of their industry.
And they aren’t always completely useless at performing the tasks that their jobs demand of them (some of them are actually pretty good).
The simple reason most entrepreneurs fail is because they are terrible at solving problems.
They approach problem solving in a completely unstructured manner.
And their businesses die a horrible death as a result.
Here’s the good news.
Structured problem solving is extremely easy to learn (provided you know where to start).
And if you want to learn more about it – here’s an article that points you in the right direction.
However, a more pressing issue for the time being is why people approach problem solving in an unstructured manner in the first place?
Why are people willing to follow a recipe when baking a cake –
But don’t think to apply the same organised, tried-and-tested approach when trying to grow their business?
It’s completely illogical (In fact, it’s borderline stupid!).
Here are 3 reasons why people solve problems haphazardly:
None of them are entirely surprising.
But that doesn’t make them any less prevalent.
Nor does it reduce the damage that inadequate problem solving has on the success of a business.
1. It never occurred to you:
While the ability to solve problems is vital to the success of any business.
You can’t apply a problem solving methodology that you don’t even know exists (That’s pretty obvious).
If you had never heard the words “structured problem solving” in a sentence before you read this article – it’s not your fault.
You’d be shocked at how many people have no idea how to go about solving problems in their own business (even in an unstructured manner).
Luckily for you, you’re not one of those people.
You’re aware that structured problem solving exists.
And you’re going to take steps to fill the gaps in your knowledge (by reading this article).
2. You think your problems are unique:
Everybody thinks they’re special.
And why shouldn’t they?
In a world as expansive as ours, it’s comforting to think that our situation is somehow unique.
But it’s time for a reality check.
There are thousands of people just like you.
And they encounter the exact some problems you do almost everyday.
But this realisation shouldn’t leave you feeling deflated.
Common sets of problems are actually a good thing.
They’re the reason why problem solving frameworks can exist in the first place.
Think about it.
You can’t apply tried-and-tested techniques to problems that nobody has encountered before.
Problem solving frameworks let you apply the same solutions to similar problems, over & over again.
(Even if you didn’t personally come up with that solution in the first place)
Heck – you can even apply the same solution to a completely different type of problem & still get fantastic results that grow your business faster.
Sounds great, doesn’t it?
Structured problem solving lets you tap into a vast repository of proven solutions.
And easily modify them to help you achieve your business goals.
3. You have an inadequate understanding of your business:
The less you know about the processes that make up your business.
The less capable you are of improving them – or fixing them when something goes wrong (we can all agree on that).
Put it this way.
A mechanic can’t diagnose your car problems if he doesn’t know how your engine works.
You can’t fix your business problems if you don’t understand your business workflows.
Your business will fail if you don’t set aside the time you need to properly analyse its components.
Or observe how various processes interact with & have an effect on one another.
Fortunately – structured problem solving gives you the analytical toolkit you need to kick start this learning process.
By encouraging you to dig deep & find the root of a problem (as well as showing you how to do this every step of the way) –
Structured problem solving exposes you to the subtle nuances of your business operations.
And how certain factors produce outcomes that are sometimes totally unexpected.
Key points to take away:
9 out of 10 entrepreneurs fail.
And every person who starts a business wants to be the exception.
The thing is – you can’t expect to grow your business if you don’t understand the problems that exist within it.
And you can’t begin to understand these problems effectively in a haphazard manner.
It’s time to change the way you think about problem solving.
Because quality thought leads to quality action.
And quality action is what is going to make your business successful.
Now my question to you is this:
What do you think is the SINGLE BIGGEST reason 90% of new businesses fail?
And what can entrepreneurs do to prevent this?
Leave a comment below.