At the moment I am training for the London triathlon, and so every time I head out the door I am trying to run a little further, or complete my swim in a faster time. I am always aiming for an improvement in my training session compared with the previous time.
You may think that I am competitive, but I’m not actually a very competitive person. I am just a person who is always looking for ways to improve.
The same goes for my business. I try to find more efficient ways to run my business – a better way to get through my emails and not get distracted, a better system to track all my tasks, a more efficient way to file my documents on my computer.
I personally believe there is always a “better” way, and that each and every day you should try to do something better. The lean philosophy of continuous improvement therefore sits very well with me – both personally and professionally.
So what could you do each day to try to improve one area of your business?
- Could you spend slightly less time in a meeting that always overruns?
- Could you only check your emails 4 times a day rather than every time it beeps?
- Could you read through your post as soon as it comes in and action it right there and then (whether that be junk mail in the bin or filing a bank statement)?
- Could you spend 15 minutes at the beginning of each day deciding what you want to focus on that day?
- Could you make time each month to review your business plan to ensure your business goals are still correct?
- Could you ring one customer each day and just connect with them and ensure they are happy with your service?
- Could you meet with your team and decide on a better way of working together?
The whole idea about continuous improvement is that these changes don’t need to be big. Look for small ways where you can improve, and then these small improvements will all add up to a big difference over time.
However, it is important to note that just because you are looking for ways to improve, that doesn’t mean you should put off enjoying where you are now. This isn’t a “grass is always greener” scenario. Try to acknowledge where you and your business are currently (and be happy with that), but also look for small areas where it can be better.