‘Solutions’ is a remarkably popular word in business. It crops up in ads, mailings, CVs, company names and cheesy corporate gifts all the time.

I did a search at Companies House this morning to work out how many businesses in the UK have ‘solutions’ as part of their name. The answer, believe it or not, is more than 188,000. That’s a lot of solving.

I hate it.

The reason I hate it is because it is presumptuous. It implies to me that a problem can be fixed without doubt. It creates a sort of sticking plaster impression in my mind, instead of the sense that a problem is being investigated and diagnosed. Every problem, in my experience, is subtly different.

Personally, I prefer to listen to a client’s description of the problem first to get a better understanding on both a practical and an emotional level. If we think we can fix it, we’ll say so, and if we don’t think we can, we’ll say so as well.

The interesting thing is that once we get into a conversation about the problem it starts to take on a slightly different form – and we get a better understanding of some of the internal pressures that might be making things a bit uncomfortable.

We’ve solved a huge range of problems over the years. Here are few:

Helping Asda to outsell Kellogg’s with their own brand cereal for the first time in their trading history.

Positioning a leading British software company for acquisition.

Helping Debenhams to sell more swimwear to older woman.

Helping NATO to use social media to combat misinformation.

Helping a famous UK city to rebrand as the romantic capital of Great Britain.

Helping a small underground farm in Clapham to become an international success story.

Helping a hotel to fill its guest register for a year with a block of wood.

Helping start-ups to raise funds and take flight.

There are many more. Problems are what we’re looking for and there’s a very good chance that we can fix yours. The caveat is that I can’t be sure until we talk. It’s partly why I chose the company name. All you need do is pick up the phone, dial 07702 684290 and say “Houston, we have a problem.” We’ll do our best to solve it, but before we talk I can’t be sure.