I love challenging the status quo – not just for the sake of changing things – but because there are always ways to do things better. Here are some suggestions to improve your business productivity.
- Start with yourself
Take some time away from slaving at your small business. Step back. Read. Ponder. Analyze. Plan.
Understand where productivity takes place and what influences it. Understand the input, processes, output model.
How do you plan to improve your own personal performance? Your company will improve at the rate you improve. Lead by example.
- Involve everyone
The people who work for you have fantastic ideas. Your challenge is to create an environment where they feel free to share those ideas and where they get acknowledged or rewarded for their ideas. People who are not directly involved in a process may be able to offer more objective solutions than those who are struggling with it. Involve everyone. Leave no one out.
- Confront old ideas and traditions
Some traditions are good. Really good. Perhaps excellent. But are they the best? People get emotionally attached to the way things have always been done. Try to move from the emotional to the rational by focusing on your goals. Once you have established a new best way of doing something, stick with it until someone finds a better way.
- Keep it simple
Think of the critical results you want to improve. What will give your business the competitive edge? Work back and think of ways to change the system so that these improvements can become reality. This does not need to be complicated or expensive. The people working with a particular process often come up with great ideas to improve.
- Focus on the right things
What core business systems enable you to earn more money or to find and keep customers? Remove any obstacles or bottlenecks in these systems so you can achieve your objectives.
- Provide training
Set performance standards for your business systems and continually improve these standards. Empower your most important asset (your people) by training them to do their jobs well.
- Don’t stop improving
Stop immediately to fix quality or customer-related problems. Implement systems to reflect on your progress weekly, get suggestions and train your people.
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