Business Improvement can be very rewarding. It can put more money in your pocket, more free time in your schedule, and more joy in your life. But, knowing how to accomplish it can be challenging, as can implementation once you figure out what needs to change.
Our business is helping you improve your business. We know how to identify the bottlenecks, the inconsistencies, the counter-productive policies and procedures, and the many other factors that are standing between what your business is today and what it can be going forward. We know how to get you from here to there. We know how to do it affordably, using a portion of the increased profits our association will produce.
The synergistic magic of a business is created when it operates according to a well-defined set of rules, when what it does, and how it does it, is known by all. If how you do business isn’t written down, then it’s not a business.
In order to improve something, you have to be able to measure it. Otherwise, you don't know what affect your changes are having. In order to measure it, you have to define it, train it, and be able to repeat it.
If you don’t make a profit, you can’t stay in business, but if you make it all about the profits, you create a counter-productive effect that actually costs you money by either raising costs or limiting sales.
Reducing costs is a diminishing returns game. There is only so much you can do in that regard. But, there is no inherent limit to how much you can increase sales. The path to greater profits lies in doing that.
Some call it Quality, but that term is often confused with durability or luxury, so we prefer this one. Consistency means doing what you do the same way all the time. It means that a customer’s experience repeatedly matches what they expect from you.
Consistency is always and exactly doing what your system says you are supposed to do. Being consistent means that the changes you make get implemented and repeated. It means that you have a way to identify the root-cause of any variations, and processes in place to make the necessary corrections.
Customers buy value, not just price. Focusing on price alone can cost you sales. They will pay more for things like better service or a longer warranty.
Customers are looking for benefits, not just features. Do you tell them what you do in a way that they can understand and relate to? Are you speaking your language or theirs? Are you using buzzwords that are common in your industry, but perhaps not in theirs?
But, it's not enough to just promise better value, you have to deliver it. Their whole experience matters. It actually starts before they walk into your store. It never stops.
People are the most important part of business. They are far more than mere resources. Whether you have one staff member, or a thousand, you will all do better when you treat them like they are family. How you recruit, train, and reward people can literally make or break your business.
A business does not exist in a vacuum. Yes, you did build it, but you’d didn’t do so all by yourself. You relied on the community, for people, resources, and the market you are selling into. Giving back helps balance the scale. It also builds the good will that increases sales and brings other opportunities to your door.
You can't fake it. This is the secret that makes the rest of it work. The people in the organization need to be trustworthy. The system has to deliver real value, not just the perceived kind. The honor you give your staff has to come from your heart. When you give back, it has to mean something to you. If it isn't authentic, whatever you do will actually be counter-productive.