Your business needs you to be making continuous improvements. Avoiding decision paralysis, poor accounting mistakes or getting stuck in a failure or three scenarios can be detrimental to your business.
As it sounds, continual improvements mean that you are constantly pushing forward, changing, innovating and developing new products, services, and ways of working to streamline and are looking for new opportunities for areas of growth you can expand into. Every decision you make will be for the benefit and future of the business. So what do you need to be looking at?
Identify your Current Position
Are you where you need to be right now? Is this position aligned with your vision of business projections and your business plan? Before you even begin planning for the future, you need to look at the present. If you don’t have everything where you want it now, then you need to get good foundation blocks in place to help you get to where you should be and are you are maintaining that well.
Look at your employees. Are they able to do the job well, support the company the way you need them to, and how are they carrying out their duties? Look at your supplier relationships and assess how they benefit your business, your clients, customers and more to get a bigger picture of the current state of your business.
Circle back to your business plan and look at what you wanted to see happen. Have you stuck to it? Has the business changed direction, or has anything else impacted your progress, such as economic changes or massive world events?
Invest Time In Your Business Plan
If you have checked over your business plan and are meeting your goals, then you need to improve on this plan and make new plans and directions to move forward with the information you have. If you haven’t, then you can easily adjust your goals and thinking to help you create a business plan that will work with the business you have before you right now.
Just because you have a business plan doesn’t mean it is set in stone, and you can always go back and change the goalposts. Whatever you need to do to make improvements and changes can be added to your business plan to give you a blueprint to move forward and put goals and targets together to support your change in postion.
Invest In New Technology
New technology isn’t always about reinventing the wheel; sometimes, it’s about upgrading to a better, shinier wheel that you can go further on. If you want to improve constantly, invest in the latest tools and technology for your sector.
Let’s say you own a construction company; then you can put automation in place to help you manage tasks, track employee hours and monitor productivity, to name a few. You can also use drones to help you take footage of areas that can be tricky to reach and inspect at a higher level rather than putting crew at risk and wasting time. The Multispectral Drone, for example, comes with a range of features such as GPS and imaging to perform highly accurate surveys and allow you to see the status of different areas, e.g. roofing, without going up there yourself.
Brainstorming can be done in multiple different ways. From ideation sessions to individual contributions to bouncing ideas of peers or simply booking at what competitors are doing or where your industry is moving to. From here, you can dissect the benefits of each option and how you can implement it into the business.
It’s okay to have good ideas and bad ideas. Everything can help to get the juices flowing, and sometimes you need to rule out the wrong stuff and find the good ones that you can work with. Reach out to employees, talk it through with those in your industry and collect a range of solutions and improvements you can see working for you.
You should be testing any new measures that you put into practice. Even things such as implementing a new system should be tested before being rolled out. Doing so will avoid any major disasters or hiccups and ensure you are confident you are making changes for the better. Allow one or two employees to work on the new system to see how much of a difference it makes. Make sample batches of products using new materials or machinery so you can get an idea of the results before going into mass production. Be confident you have smoothed out as many creases as possible before introducing things on a company-wide scale.
Check In Regularly
Much like anything, things will likely go awry if you implement it and then abandon it. Be proactive and monitor how well things are going and what is working. Take the time to fully understand issues and listen to employee or client feedback so you can make the proper adjustments to keep building on improvements.
Don’t be afraid to make small changes or pivot to a new idea if this one doesn’t work. Think of it this way. A group of students were given a task to make the perfect bowl. Split in half, one group had to focus on perfection and one on making as many as possible. Which group achieved perfection? The second group, who had to make as many as they could, reached it first. Why? Because they made so many, they made so many mistakes, and it made these mistakes that helped them achieve perfection while the other group didn’t have the opportunity to make mistakes. Your business is that bowl. Make the decisions, learn from them, and continue to improve anyway.
Making progress in pushing your business forward for success means you must continually improve what you do and how you do it. Continual improvement means constantly looking at what you can do differently to improve results, and it should be part of how you operate from day one.