The one thing every business owner will tell you is they want business growth. One way to achieve growth is through improvement. What are key strategies for improving business performance and quality?
However, despite wanting to do better and be better, businesses sometimes still fail to actually get there – often because they lack the strategies that will actually take them to the top. It’s not just about doing more work, hiring more talent, and having more clients. There’s a lot more to it, so in this post, we’re going to look at some vital strategies that will help you improve your business.
Looking at the state of things as they are at the moment is always a great place to start, as it saves you the effort of implementing new strategies on top of faulty ones. Do an in-depth audit of your entire operation, from the very top to the very bottom. Look for frustrations, complaints, and failures as a source of ideas for current problems, which are often the result of lean waste. Include all major aspects of performance like employee skills and motivation, but also think about the small stuff, like which coffee you source.
In 2020 we have reached a point where there is likely a tool out there for any aspect of work imaginable to help you do your job better. The right tool might not be able to completely automate a task (nor should it), but it can definitely save you some time, money, and headspace. Take a look at this list of tools and consider using some of them – you’d be surprised how much they can help improve performance.
There are times when you can’t see the tree for the forest. Or is it the forest for the trees? The point being, you can’t ever expect to see your business operations like your employees and your customers do, as you are simply never in their shoes.
Ask for feedback from both of these groups and see what kinds of issues and suggestions they come up with. A different perspective should always be welcomed and encouraged. Make sure you do actually listen to the suggestions you receive – and consider implementing them, even if they are not something you yourself would have thought of.
High-powered and driven individuals often make the mistake of working more and more hours the more successful they become – when in fact, they should be doing quite the opposite. It has been proven that well-rested supervisors deliver better results in every aspect of their job, not to mention they are more pleasant to work with.
Consider your own sleep schedule, and talk to your managers and higher-level employees about their own rest and relaxation. If you notice they are working overtime, acknowledge their dedication, but still ask them to cut back and rest more, as they can achieve better results with more sleep.
If you are not already working remotely, consider the option carefully. After all, 2020 has taught us that remote work is not only possible but that it can often even trump office work.
This may not be possible for all companies, but if your team doesn’t need much more than a computer and a fast internet connection to get the job done, you might want to get them to work from home every once in a while. This will not only cut down on commute and getting-ready-for-work times for remote employees, but it can also significantly boost productivity.
Competitor research is a great way to tap into new ideas. While we are definitely not encouraging you to copy someone else’s marketing and business tactics, you can certainly expand your own strategies based on what works well in your line of industry.
Examine things like prices, customer service, store and online experiences, marketing channels, employee distribution, and so on. You might be surprised to learn how someone else is conducting their day-to-day business.
You can never please everyone, no matter what you do, and neither should you try. Instead of focusing on a wider marketing and business scope, consider narrowing your target market and target audience. This will help you provide a more niche experience and allow you to establish expertise within a limited scope rather than being average or mediocre within a much wider scope.
True, you will be limiting your lead pool. However, narrowing down will allow you to focus on a more specific segment more, providing a better experience and a more tailored offer. Naturally, you should select the market segment that is likely to be the most interested in what you have to offer, and one which you are already doing business with well.
Finally, you also need to ensure you’re keeping track of your progress. Without measurable goals and metrics, you won’t actually be able to tell whether your improvements and the changes you have implemented are making a difference.
Start by setting up a business performance scorecard with goals for each different segment of your business, or each implementation you are making – make sure the goal is SMART – and then map out the process you will need to get there. Assign a milestone to each segment (keep it trackable), and give yourself some sort of deadline.
This will help you measure your success and be able to look back on your progress one day, admiring all the achievements you have made.
Growing your business, improving performance, and optimizing quality should always be on your mind – not in the obsessive, “can’t sleep” kind of way, but in the “I want to keep getting better at this” kind of way.
After all, the only way to survive in the modern business landscape is to constantly keep evolving.