You will need to improve your business regularly. Without improvements, you will risk losing market share, income, and profitability at all. So, here is your improvement toolbox to help you start improving your business in the next 24 hours.
The risk related to not taking specific action steps to improve your small business is much higher than the risk if you try to improve something and fail.
Failing in improvements and in business actions as general is one important aspect that increases your business potential energy. Failing means that you and your company learn something new and because of that, the next improvement steps will bring much higher results for the company.
Many things related to the success of the small businesses are directly related to the initiatives of the entrepreneurs to take things in their own hands. Can you start implementing improvements in your company in the next 24 hours? Yes, you can. The only thing that you will need is a systematic approach that will involve you and your whole company in the continuous improvement process. You don’t need to make big steps toward the results. You need to start thinking differently, to start working different, and to start building processes that will bring you still unprecedented results for your small business.
Let’s see how you can schedule through hours a simple but powerful improvement process in your company.
Hour 1: Prepare Your Improvement Toolbox
What does means improvement toolbox? Simply said, improvement toolbox can be anything that can be used in your efforts to implement improvements in your company.
As an entrepreneur, you need such a toolbox. What will need to be in this improvement toolbox? It depends on you, your business, market, and industry where your business operates. I want to share a general approach that usually I am giving as an advice to entrepreneurs.
- As a first, you will need tools related to idea generation process as a part of your improvement toolbox. So, here you can have different techniques that can be used as brainstorming sessions, brainwriting, meetings, process explorations, customers surveys, and so on.
- Next, you will need the problem-solving toolbox. This part of your improvement toolbox will contain tools that you will use for timely discovering problems in your business.
- You will also need data collection tools. These tools can be your internal databases and external information related to the problem or the subject of improvement.
- Also, you will need tools related to the development of the improvement process. Here can be used tools such as process mapping, six sigma, benchmarking, re-engineering, and so on.
When you have everything that you will need in the improvement process you can go to the next hour in the implementation of the improvement process in your company.
Hour 2: Analyze Your Business Metrics
Spend your second hour to analyze the current metrics that you are using to measure the performance of your business processes or the business as overall.
What does it mean?
First, you will want to be sure that the metrics currently used is the right metrics required for the next decision that you will need to make in the whole process. So, simply start asking yourself following questions:
- What metrics I am currently using to measure the performance of my company?
- Are these metrics the right metrics for me?
- Are this metrics that give me valuable results about my decision-making process?
- Are there some other metrics that aren’t currently used, but can give the valuable picture for the performance of my company?
Answering these questions, you will have the list of the most important metrics that you will need to analyze in the next hour.
Hour 3: Analyze Your Business Systems and Processes
The third hour you will need to spend in collecting all necessary data required for the list of the metrics you have defined in the previous hour.
Start analyzing the performance of your company in order to be able to discover possible problematic systems and processes or possible ideas where you can improve something.
Hour 4: Make a List With All the Systems and Corresponding Processes Responsible For the Low Metrics
The fourth hour is the hour in which you and your team will make a list with all possible systems and corresponding processes that will need to be part of the improvement cycle.
So, call your team members and talk about already defined problems and possible systems that will need to be on the list for the improvement process.
Hour 5 – 6: Brainstorm Possible Improvement Ideas With Your Team
Next two hours or fifth and sixth hour is related to the brainstorming session for the possible ideas about how you can improve already listed systems and process, or how you can solve already discovered problems.
Usually, the work in these two hours will lead to the concrete definition of the problems in each of the earlier defined systems that will need to be solved.
Hour 7-9: Solution Brainstorming Session With Your Team
These three hours your job will be to work on brainstorming different solutions related to the problems defined in the previous two hours.
You already have systems and processes where you will need to make the intervention in order to improve them. Also, you have already defined problems that will need to be solved and that the solutions will bring improvements to your company. Now, it is time for the brainstorming session where you and your team will brainstorm different solutions for each of the problems.
Hour 10 – 11: Analyze Proposed Solutions and Chose the Best
The next two hours you and your team will need to spend on analysis of the proposed solution in order to make a list with the best solutions that will need to be implemented if you want required improvements in your company.
Hour 12-15: Prepare Plan For Selected Solution Implementation
Now, we are close to the implementation of the improvements, but before we start there is a strong need to have a great plan that will increase the possibilities for great implementation of already chosen solutions for the problems.
Hour 16-23: Implement Selected Solutions
After you finish the planning process for the improvements, the next eight hours you and your team will work on the implementation of already prepared plan for improvements solving the biggest problems in your company on the right way.
Hour 24: Check If Everything is Implemented as Planned
The last hour of these 24 hours process you will need to spend in checking the results from what you have already implemented with the improvement targets that you have at the beginning of the process. Simply, are these efforts bring improvements in the performances of your company. If this is true, you can start with the next improvement cycle. If it is not true then you will need to spend the next 24 hours to find the reasons why this is happening and repeat all previous steps.
Good luck with your improvements efforts.