How To Be Constantly Improving Your Business

StrategyDriven Business Performance Assessment Program (BPAP) Article |Improving Your Business|How To Be Constantly Improving Your BusinessYour business may be getting by currently, but it doesn’t mean you’ll be able to achieve or sustain long-term success. The reality is that nothing is promised to you, and you must stay ahead of the game and curve if you’re going to be able to retain customers and win over new ones. To do so, you must focus on ways you can constantly be improving your business and getting ahead.

As the business owner and leader, it’s your job to put measures in place that help you to achieve and exceed your goals and customer expectations. You want to make forward progress before it’s too late, and all your hard work becomes irrelevant. Now is the time to step up and take control of your business and figure out what you can be doing to excel and win over more customers.

Revisit Your Goals

You can be constantly improving your business by revisiting your goals often. Although you have a good idea about what you want to accomplish in the next few years, it doesn’t mean that the information is set in stone. Evaluate the situation regularly and determine what’s working and where the gaps exist so you can make necessary adjustments to your plan. Remain flexible and adaptable so that you can modify your approach and management style based on what you’re observing around you. Make amendments that will help you reach your goals at a quicker rate and keep you from wasting precious time and resources.

Train Your Employees

Improve your business by investing in your employees and their futures with your company. You have to communicate expectations early on and set them up for success if you’re going to get the performance results you desire. It’s in your best interest to train your employees and get them all on the same page and up to speed with recommended business processes. Make your training events such as employee onboardings, software training, and corporate learning events more successful by using an iPad rental service. Each person will have their own technology device to use and will be more engaged in the educational programming you’re offering this way.

Gather Feedback

It’s easy to make quick judgments and assumptions in the workplace, but this may cause you more problems in the long run. Instead, constantly be improving your business by collecting feedback from employees and clients frequently. It’ll help you to make better decisions based on data and facts instead of you playing guessing games. You may find that some areas need your attention that you thought were going smoothly. Gathering this information will provide you with valuable insights into what you should be focusing on as you strive to make improvements at your company.

Follow Industry News & Updates

Another way to be constantly improving your business is to follow industry news and updates. Knowing what’s going on with your target audience and niche will help you to adapt and roll out better products and services. Understand how your industry is changing and evolving and what impact technology is having on your business. Take the time to read relevant blogs and follow thought leaders on social media so that important information doesn’t pass you by. You’re going to be able to predict future trends better with this knowledge and impress customers with your agility and ability to innovate.

Be Open to Learning

When you improve your skills, your business will also improve. If you become too comfortable and stagnant as a boss and leader, then you risk your business following in your footsteps. Therefore, be open to learning and working on becoming more knowledgeable in areas that are unfamiliar and challenging for you. Take online courses, attend seminars, and converse with other business leaders so you can advance your skill set. You’ll want to not only educate yourself but also implement what you learn at your workplace so you can make impactful changes to your current approach. Remain curious and inquisitive so that you’re always taking new information in and can avoid assuming you know it all.

Evaluate the Competition

Your competitors are going to be right at your heels, just waiting for you to make mistakes and take a wrong turn. They want to steal customers away from you and make sure they’re number one. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to evaluate the competition regularly if you want to be constantly improving your business. Focus on identifying where they’re falling short and figuring out how you can step in and offer solutions to problems that they aren’t currently solving. Learn from their mistakes and build off of their successes so you can stand above and apart from your competitors.

Address what’s Broken

Looking the other way and ignoring significant problem areas your business is facing will only backfire on you. Your employees must have the tools and resources they need to perform their jobs so they aren’t always fighting an uphill battle. You can constantly be improving your business by addressing and fixing what’s broken. Be a good listener and hear what your employees and clients are saying and what their pain points are so you can deal with the situation. Although there may be a mess to untangle, your hard work to rectify the situation will help move your business forward in the right direction.

Find A Mentor

Constantly be improving your business by finding a mentor who you can rely on for advice and input. Use this person as a sounding board and try to understand the reasoning behind their recommendations so you can apply the lessons you’re learning in the future. You’re going to have questions and issues that arise along the way, and it’ll be helpful to have someone you trust in your corner that you can bounce ideas off of as you go. Learn from their past mistakes and experiences so you can avoid these same mishaps at your workplace. A mentor is a helpful observer and will be able to objectively tell you what you’re doing right and what may be holding you back from achieving a higher level of success.

Take Calculated Risks

No one in business ever made it too far without diving into unknown waters and taking a chance. Improve your business by getting away from the business as usual mentality and instead taking calculated risks based on your problem-solving skills. Sometimes you have to step outside your comfort zone and do what’s not so easy if you want to make a true difference in the business world. You want to feel comfortable moving forward with your decision and also have a backup plan in place if you should fail or begin to struggle. The good news is that if you’re right, taking a risk may be the best choice you ever made for your company.

Conclusion

Being able to improve your business around the clock may require a lot of hard work and effort on your part but the rewards that come with it can be priceless. You risk falling behind and becoming irrelevant if you aren’t willing to take chances and make changes as a business owner. You can’t rely on what you’ve always done to get you to the next level. It takes a commitment and you dedicating yourself fully to overcoming obstacles and staying the course even when you stumble and fall or have setbacks. Believe in yourself and give yourself the benefit of the doubt so that you can turn your business around for the better and make impactful improvements.

Identifying Your Weaknesses As A Business

StrategyDriven Business Performance Assessment Program (BPAP) Article |Business Weaknesses|Identifying Your Weaknesses As A BusinessSmall businesses do a lot of things better than the competition. As an SME, for example, you’ll have tighter links with the local community, allowing you to strengthen brand loyalty. Also, having a limited budget means that you understand how and where to cut costs to maximize your funds.

On the flip side, you will struggle to perform some tasks to the same standard as everyone else. While there is nothing wrong with having weaknesses, it’s essential to turn them into strengths if you want to stay afloat. After all, your rivals will leave you in their dust if you don’t adapt and thrive.

First, you must figure out what the company’s weaknesses are as it will allow you to focus on the most important ones. Here are four common pitfalls that SMEs suffer regularly. It might come as a surprise how basic the following steps are.

Ask Others

Most posts will start by saying that you need to conduct a SWOT analysis. Working out your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats is a great place to start, but it doesn’t help you figure out what they are. With that in mind, it’s wise to ask other people for their opinions.

Employees will always be happy to help in this department because they are never satisfied! Bear that in mind when analyzing whether they are weak points or not as they could be little gripes that do not affect the business. Clients and customers are excellent research sources, too. All you need to do is ask them whether you can improve on the customer experience.

You should be open to constructive criticism. Some of the things you’ll hear will be out of the blue, and it’s easy to react poorly. Instead, write it down and move onto the next potential weakness. That way, you can review them in more detail later.

Perform Tests

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, it’s possible to test various elements of your business to check for weak spots. A performance assessment of your server and internet connection is the best place to begin because the company relies on the Web. Professional network solutions are often necessary as they ensure the business is never offline and website upload speeds are high. Plus, quality services come with an assessment included.

Next, it’s time to test which areas of the site are getting traction from browsers and which ones are lagging behind. A/B testing is a fantastic tool for companies that can narrow the weaknesses down to a handful of features. If you don’t fall into this category, you should opt for multivariate testing instead. MV tests analyze several elements of your site simultaneously, helping you to figure out what is useful.

You should always perform assessments as they encourage growth and improvement.

Keep Tabs On Complaints

The first paragraph said you should ask customers for their opinions. Well, the good news is that you don’t have to – they’ll come to you if they think the standard is low. One in twenty-five shoppers will complain directly to you, whereas an additional 13% will tell up to five people about the experience. Thanks to the internet, you can find these complaints with ease.

Again, it’s about striking the perfect balance. Yes, some people like to complain, and they will do it regardless. However, there could be a couple of nuggets of information that will transform your processes and practices. The trick is to watch out for criticisms that pop-up more than once. If several complaints focus on the same point, the odds are high that they are right.

Responding to complaints and asking for feedback is a smart way to show you care and want to change.

StrategyDriven Business Performance Assessment Program (BPAP) Article |Business Weaknesses|Identifying Your Weaknesses As A BusinessCompare Yourself To The Competition

Comparing yourself to anyone is risky because there could be differing variables. As a result, the conclusions you draw will be flawed. Although that is true, it’s never bad to evaluate your business against the rest of the market. By doing this, you’ll figure out which areas you excel at, and which ones need some work.

A good tip is to keep it general. Check their website and see whether it’s more navigable than yours, or gauge whether they go the extra mile for customers for the sake of their experience. Doing this should provide perspective and encourage you to up your game to compete with your rivals.

Do you understand your business’ weaknesses? Hopefully, this post will help you address the imbalance.

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StrategyDriven Podcast Special Edition 3 – An Interview with Forrest Breyfogle, author of Integrated Enterprise Excellence, Volume I – The Basics

StrategyDriven Podcasts focus on the tools and techniques executives and managers can use to improve their organization’s alignment and accountability to ultimately achieve superior results. These podcasts elaborate on the best practice and warning flag posts on the StrategyDriven website.

Special Edition 3 – An Interview with Forrest Breyfogle, author of Integrated Enterprise Excellence, Volume I – The Basics explores how to achieve organizational performance improvements through the use of the Integrated Enterprise Excellence system. During our discussion, Forrest Breyfogle, author of Integrated Enterprise Excellence, Volume I – The Basics: Golfing Buddies Go Beyond Lean Six Sigma and the Balanced Scorecard and CEO of Smarter Solutions, a global management coaching and consulting firm specializing in the design and application of innovative enterprise-wide performance measures and business solutions, shares his insights regarding:

  • the importance of an integrated approach to organizational performance improvement
  • how using the Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control (DMAIC) model at the enterprise and project levels can drive performance improvement
  • acquisition of critical option value insights through the use of the Design of Experiments (DOE) approach
  • how other business management approaches such as Total Quality Management (TQM), the Theory of Constraints (TOC), SMART goals, and ISO 9000 are related to the Integrated Enterprise Excellence system

Additional Information

Complimenting the outstanding insights Forrest shares in Integrated Enterprise Excellence, Volume I – The Basics and this special edition podcast, are the organizational performance improvement materials and resources found on his website, Smarter Solutions (www.SmarterSolutions.com). Forrest also offers free one-day seminars throughout the United States. For additional information regarding these seminars, click here.

As mentioned in the podcast, Integrated Enterprise Excellence, Volume I – The Basics, is just one of four books in the Integrated Enterprise Excellence series which includes:


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Forrest W. Breyfogle IIIForrest W. Breyfogle III, author of Integrated Enterprise Excellence, Volume I – The Basics, is CEO of Smarter Solutions, a global management coaching and consulting firm specializing in the design and application of innovative enterprise-wide performance measures and business solutions. For over 15 years, Forrest has advised company leaders and their teams on how to improve their organization’s performance through the use of his Integrated Enterprise Excellence system. In 2004, Forrest received the prestigious Crosby Medal from the American Society for Quality for his earlier book, Implementing Six Sigma. He serves on the Board of Advisors for the University of Texas Center for Performance Excellence. To read Forrest’s full biography, click here.

Evaluation and Control Program Warning Flag 1 – The Illusion of Accuracy

Evaluation and Control Program Warning Flag 1 - The Illusion of Accuracy | StrategyDriven Evaluation and Control Article | Warning Flag“Measure with a micrometer, mark with a crayon, and cut with a chainsaw”
Author Unknown

Evaluation and control programs provide executives and managers with the critical information they need to make effective business decisions. However, an equally critical component of the decision-making process is the understanding that no data-set is a perfect reflection of reality. Therefore, it is important for business leaders to recognize the potential inaccuracies associated with their data in order to fully assess the risks these flaws pose to the achievement of desired outcomes.


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Additional Information

The following StrategyDriven recommended best practices are designed to reduce the likelihood leaders will receive data presented with an exaggerated accuracy.