We all want to make them..personally, and in our businesses!
But how to focus them..and when to make them?
I’ve been involved in a series of these improvement initiatives..and the follow through..for many months now. So, here are some observations so far.
- Plan as a team, assuming there’s more than one of you. If you are the sole owner and operator you should do planning with input from trusted advisors who 1) know your industry 2) know your business track record and goals.
- It’s never the right time! Usually, we wait too long to take the necessary steps and then agonize about why we waited. Test your ideas as best you can–with respected peers including other business owners (if your fortunate to have ones familiar with your business who are NOT competitors).
- Create a thoughtful implementation plan that makes it all happen–with accountability and deadlines assigned–and checkpoints along the way in each component of the plan. The checkpoint question: How’s THAT working and do we know why?
- If the improvements are high-impact ones–that build and rebuild in the core of your business–you will feel them emotionally, physically at times, and then financially. Improvement has costs. Some you plan and budget for. Some (the ones that impact people’s business and personal lives) you can only try to anticipate and plan for–and even empathize with!
- You’ll reach a point in the implementation of change where self-doubt can creep in. This would be normal. Have confidence in your plan. You worked hard, and with care, to create it!
- However set up channels to get helpful feedback. Get it from anywhere, but focus on your reliable sources.
- Communicate a lot–to and with everyone involved.
- Be willing to adjust–when you are certain “alterations” are needed.
- Glory in the improvements that happen. Celebrate them yourself–and with your team!
- Be aware of how your business–and people–have changed, getting to continuous improvement is an ideal state.
Understand, at some point, all this will happen again. It means your business is growing, thriving, and also competitive! Growth happens in small steps, and sometimes big ones–when you need to break through to the next level!!