It’s always been my view that there is no such thing as a perfect business. We may all like to believe that we understand the core elements of building a successful business, but it seems to me that there’s always room for improvement.
When thinking about the changes that can be made, I believe that there’s an important balance to be struck. I have seen business owners make hasty modifications, without giving the process due consideration. In these situations, it often seems that there is an awareness that something is going wrong.
Unfortunately, the solution isn’t always appropriate for the problems that are being faced. This is a classic example of making changes, without investigating what’s required and why problems currently exist.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have the case of the business owner who believes that it’s necessary to carry out an enormous amount of analysis, prior to making any changes. This can actually be just as damaging.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with gathering all the facts before acting. But you need to make sure that you are committed to taking action. The risk here is that too much time is spent on analysis and that action, if taken at all, tends to occur at far too late a stage. This can be a particular problem for small businesses, where there should be inherent advantages associated with flexibility and the ability to take action more quickly.
Identifying the issues
So where do you see problems within your own business? I often like to think in terms of the potential areas that are actually limiting business development.
As an example, you might feel that you have plenty of great products and services to offer. Unfortunately, you are not attracting enough customers. In this situation, you may quickly come to conclude that you need to change the way in which you think about sales and marketing.
The nature of that change may vary, from reviewing processes, to hiring sales experts. The important element here is to identify the cause of your problems and to go about solving them.
On the other hand, you may have plenty of people wishing to use your services. The problem may be that you simply can’t deliver all of the work that’s required. In this case, you’ll probably want to look carefully at staffing levels, your current business premises, staff training and the way in which you are managing your resources.
It’s likely that one of those areas will hold the key to working out what’s going wrong. The solutions available to you may range from improving the training of employees, to looking at moving to a new office.
Communicate with others
Communication should be central to almost any changes that you make. You may have great reasons for changing particular processes, or even the location of your business, but you should expect that such upheavals will cause uncertainty for some members of staff.
By looking to explain your decisions in detail, you can reduce those levels of uncertainty and produce better outcomes. Have a clear plan in mind and take confidence from knowing that your changes are designed to improve the business as a whole. Don’t be afraid to discuss your plans and also to listen to what others have to say.
There will be room for improvements within your own business. It’s simply a matter of identifying the very best course of action.
About the Author: Keith Barrett is an experienced business consultant and enjoys offering practical guidance to those in management positions. He believes that there is room for improvement in any business.
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