The term “best practice” is described as the process of finding and using ideas and strategies from outside your company and industry to improve performance in any given area.
Big businesses have used best practice bench marking over decades and realized billions in savings and revenues in all areas of business operations and sales. Small business can reap even greater rewards from best practices.
1. Setting Team Expectations
Setting proper team expectations and accountability has become one of the most impactful things to my business. Twice a month we gather together to discuss their accomplishments and challenges. It is also a time for your team to give feedback. At the end of these meetings, everyone leaves with better vision and new incentivized ideas.
2. Managing Without Ego
What many people don’t take into account is that there are other variables at work, such as the dynamics of the company and the people within it. Solid operations come from team members who can admit when their systems are failing and are willing to change to improve.
3. Having a Clear Process
Having a clear process that every team member understands is extremely important. When a task needs to be completed, there is a clear funnel and order of operations that must be followed. This improves efficiency and reduces the chance of fumbling information and having things slip through the cracks.
4. Creating a Foolproof Foundation
You have to start at the very base of your business in order to build a successful enterprise from it — and for me that is having a solid structure in my team. I try to look at the first couple of people who join my business as a new family of people that will take me to the next chapter of an awesome life. They need to share my ambition and drive to accomplish.
5. Soliciting Feedback From Your Team
To build a solid set of processes for your business a lot has to align. But the bigger you scale, the more you’ll likely need to delegate. So how does a business owner stay efficient when the day to day may be further away from the core operations? It’s important to gather feedback from your team often to make sure you’re addressing inefficiencies and constantly improving as you grow.
6. Keeping Everything Transparent
Yeah, I know it’s a buzz world. But I truly believe in the power of transparency to build a solid Business. Cross-checks, social collaboration tools and breaking down silos are all ways to ensure that each project is optimal for my unique business needs. Across levels and departments, operations should be communicated, tested and approved.
7. Documenting Your Processes
If you are able to provide clear and concise documentation for your team, it leaves very little room for things to be mis-communicated. It also leaves little room for your team to not know what to do or for them to be confused. These are the biggest time wasters in an organization. Documentation makes it easier to on board new employees and saves your business from being reliant on any one person.
8. Building for the Future
Although it’s important that systems and processes address today’s pain points for your business, it’s much more imperative that they are built to handle changes that could be coming years down the road. You have to look ahead and plan for all plausible changes in your business to ensure the operations you’re building do not become quickly outdated.
9. Keeping the 3 P’s in Mind
“The Profit” always says it, and it’s on point. Building a solid operation is all about the three P’s: Process, people and product. Build your operation to flow and operate well with that and you’ll have a successful business.
10. Using Data-Driven Decision Making
It is very important to maintain an objective view into how efficient your Business is, and the place to start is data collection. Data driven decision making should not be an afterthought.
11. Choosing the Right People
No person is going to be be the best at everything. It all comes down to choosing the right person and personality type for each role so that no one is doing tasks that they resent. Forget coaching weaknesses and focus on leveraging strengths and passions. Then watch everything fall into place.
12. Providing Excellent Customer Service
Provide the best customer service you can. That is the most important thing you can do. You will at some point have a dissatisfied customer, but how you handle it will give you a solid reputation in your industry.
13. Owning the Operation From Start to Finish
Hire someone to own the operation from start to finish. This person should be obsessed with the details, the metrics, the numbers. They should be elated when they hit their goal and inspired to do better when they miss it. They need to eat, sleep and breathe it.
Benefits of Best Practices for Small Business
- Reduce Costs: Small companies often do not have the deep financial pockets of big business to “re-invent the wheel.” By learning what other companies have successfully done, a small business can save money without testing new ideas.
- Avoid Mistakes: Solving business problems on your own can result in costly errors. Learning what others have done can keep your business in business.
- Find New Ideas: Adopting the “not-invented-here” attitude can spell disaster for small businesses. Learn to borrow the best from beyond your company.
- Improve Performance: When your business looks for best practices outside your business, a wonderful thing happens. You raise the bar of performance and set new standards of excellence to propel your company forward.