Find It and Fix It – Getting to the Root Cause of Your Business Symptoms

I’m known to be a bit of a holistic freak. When it comes to my health and well-being, I don’t believe in treating symptoms. A symptom is simply a sign that something’s wrong; It’s not, however, the actual thing that is wrong. It’s an effect. Treating symptoms might create temporary improvements, but treating the root cause of those symptoms is the only legitimate way to regain wellness.

How does this relate to being a solopreneur? Symptoms exist in business, too. When things go wrong, it’s important to look beyond the effect and find the cause.

A few scenarios in the professional services arena come to mind as examples:

  • Symptom: “I can’t find any new clients.”
    • Possible Root Causes: Ineffective marketing message; I’m not doing enough face-to-face networking; I don’t have a strong online presence.
  • Symptom: “My proposals to clients die on the vine.”
    • Possible Root Causes: My pricing is out of whack with what the market will bear; competitors are offering more value for the dollar than I am.
  • Symptom: “I’m losing existing clients.”
    • Possible Root Causes: Competitors are undercutting my pricing; clients are finding a way to do what I do in-house; the quality of my services aren’t up to par.

 When you’re faced with symptoms that are affecting the health of your business, you need to do four things:

  1. Acknowledge them
  2. Assess their impact
  3. Quickly step into diagnosis mode to determine their root cause.
  4. Take action to treat and alleviate the root cause

Those steps take courage and an open mind because in some cases you might find that you are part of the problem. But you can also take control and be the solution. In nearly every situation, you can do something to make a change for the better. From symptom to root cause to cure, you have the health and well-being of your business in your own hands.

What symptom/cause scenarios have you faced in your own business or personal life? How did you take action to treat the root cause? Please comment and share your experience!


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