Consistency is Mandatory for Steady Growth
WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL ABOUT CONSISTENCY?
If you had to use one word to describe the most important focus for business growth, what would it be?
Dude, have you been reading my Facebook again? Seriously, that seems to be the question of the day in my private Facebook group. “What ONE WORD sums up your goals and focus for business growth?” That is the actual question that was being asked in my group. And although my initial response for my own business was “Fearless”, I really liked several other responses as well. Here are just a few that resonated with me:
And while all of these are important goals to have for any business owner, CONSISTENCY is mandatory for steady growth.
Why, you ask? Well, in my opinion, nothing else matters if you are not consistent in your business. You can execute, simplify, be intentional, plan and be persistently disciplined (like how I did that?), but without being consistent, your business will eventually crumble like a stinkin’ house of cards on a windy day.
WE HUMANS ARE CREATURES OF HABIT
Let’s face it. We like our little routines, our favorite stores and restaurants, our routes to work and our jogging paths. Well, some of us just walk. So it stands to reason that our customers and our employees enjoy the same consistency in our service, our policies, our promises, etc. Not in a boring, we never try anything new kind of way, either. But in a “I know I can trust my boss, my team, my purchases at your business”, kind of way. When you do try something new, you give a heads up, you get participation, and you make it good if things don’t work out.
How do you achieve consistency in your business? Ah, not so hard really. One of the easiest ways to achieve consistency is to document your processes. Document how you greet your customers, how you process a transaction, how you complete a work order in the system, how you describe your inventory, how you train your employees, how you handle safety concerns, how you calculate commissions, how you correct work performance, how you retain your files…and so on.
JUST, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, DON’T TAKE THIS ON ALL BY YOURSELF.
So many of our clients tell us how overwhelmed they are when it comes to tackling this and other areas of their business. Just because you are the manager or owner, doesn’t mean that you have to handle every detail. In fact, that’s the easiest way to fail.
Set up a format to be used and make this a team effort. After all, your employees do the work. Let them explain to you how they do it. This is so useful on many different levels. Use this team effort to explain current processes, identify incorrect steps, missing steps, streamline opportunities and kudos to the people who have it down right.
This documentation becomes your SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) manual, your new hire training manual and your performance management baseline.
Take the whole year to go through every aspect of your business if you must. Consistency is mandatory for steady growth. Have you managed to integrate consistency into your business processes? What challenges have you faced in doing so and how did you overcome them? Was it a team effort?
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us, whether it’s to get your format started, or to help you review your processes, we are here for you. We also talk about it in more detail in our blog post, Good Job Descriptions Can Save Your Bacon. Check it out!