If you don’t think your business needs any form of improvement, well, you may as well shut it down now before it goes belly-up. Because the fact is, none of us is perfect — and no business is perfect.
The most successful people in business recognize that and are constantly striving for perfection, knowing they’ll never get there but also know that unless they try, they risk falling behind their competitors and losing everything.
These are not quick fixes, however. They are the beginnings of a journey of continuous improvement that every company must undertake if they continue to survive and thrive.
Cashflow is the lifeblood of any business, but it’s amazing how few businesses track their financial results on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. As amazing is that the number of business owners that believe their success begins and ends with all the financials — and overlook all of the other contributing factors.
These vary based on the form of business you run, but nearly always consist of productivity, employee satisfaction, and customer satisfaction.
You can only manage what you measure, therefore it is vital to keep track of your company’s performance from the critical success factors. For this, you will want some sort of monitoring system — there are lots of applications that can do the trick — but the secret would be that the step consistently with time.
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Every business has operators that stand out from the rest concerning results and excellence. If you are none of these, it may let you look at people who are and learn what they are doing that you are not. It is not always easy to discover, but one method is to look at best practices out your business and use the relevant ones for your small business.
The very first subheadline I utilized against this stage was”Monitor tendencies”. No company operates in a vacuum cleaner. You have to know about the changes and trends which are impacting your business in addition to the broader business environment. But just following trends isn’t sufficient.
The best way to predict the future is to create it. Think about a few of the ways that you could potentially set the trends in your business.
Believe it or not, you don’t have a monopoly on good ideas in your business. Your partner(s) and employees may well have suggestions for your improvement that will make a real difference.
You’ll gain access to a free think tank, but unless you involve them in the process, you’re unlikely to obtain their buy-in to your improvement program.
Only as soon as you know what your critical success factors are, in which you live in the company and in which you want to become later on are you going set goals for progress. And, of course, these goals will need to be S.M.A.R.T. — specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic, and time-based.
I’ve discovered the ideal goal-setting technique is to put your long-term aims first — where you want to be in five years, for example — then work tirelessly to create the activities you are going to want to climb per week, month and year to achieve your long-term aims.
You would not attempt to construct a house without a plan, so why can you conduct a company without a program?
A home plan not only provides you an architect’s vision of what the finished building will look like but also what is necessary to construct it and how it’ll be constructed. A business improvement program is the same. It is all about the tools and systems you will want to construct a better company.
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I know I’ve already mentioned systems but they’re so important that I’m giving them their own section. Systems are means of doing things that may be done the same way, every moment, attaining the same predictable results as economically as you can.
Examples include procedures for promoting your products, increasing bills, even answering the phone. The high-quality control guru W. Edwards Deming once said, “If you can not explain what it is you are doing as a method, you do not understand what you are doing.”
This was the name of one of those chapters in Steven Covey’s famous book The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People and supposed that unless you are continuously improving your own abilities, you have got no chance of improving your company.
When was the last time you see a book on company management, selling, or innovating? What seminars or classes have you attended in the previous twelve months? Do not have time? Consult with the guidance given in the very first sentence of the report.
One of the biggest mistakes that business owners make, in my experience, is thinking you can do everything. You can not. None of us is crucial. Delegate. Do not just involve your people in the preparation process, involve them in creating the strategy that occurs. If you do not have people in your company who will make decisions and take control if necessary, do not make excuses.
Locate them coach your present people. Sometimes the best way to better your company and re-ignite your fire would be to take depart the daily running to your own people and concentrate on functioning on your company instead of from it.
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Forgive me if I Have made Some of the above sounds like it should Be simple. It is not. That is why most prosperous business people I know have coaches or mentors to assist them with each step of the improvement process, including benchmarking, target setting, planning, and easing their own teams.
These are all areas in which I have considerable expertise and I would be pleased to work with you as a mentor or coach to guide you through the process of improving your business.
So we can get to know each other and discuss how we could work together — even if you’re outside New Zealand where I’m based — I offer a free Initial Consultation in person, over Skype, or by phone.
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