Surviving as a small business owner and keeping your sanity will require continuous process improvement in your business.
Continuous Process Improvement is how you can separate yourself from your competitors. With the economic downturn we have experienced in the last few years it’s critical to survival as a small business owner.
eHow.com states “Continuous process improvement is a democratic approach to business improvement”. So what systems can you apply to achieve Continuous Process Improvement? How about all!
You can improve on answering your phone to create a higher conversion rate, same goes for how you greet your customers when they stop in your shop, or how about how you pay your bills, do you just pay them when they come in or do you have a plan for it… is it twice a month, is it on the 1st and the 15th of the month… do you just pay what you can or do you have a plan created around it. How about employee reviews? How can you improve on those?
The benefits of Continuous Process Improvement include:
o Eliminate the main causes of problems
o Reduce variation
o Remove activities that have no value to the organization
o Improve customer satisfaction
When it comes down to having a Continuous Process Improvement System start with some simple steps.
Steps to Process Improvement:
1. Pick an area to start focusing on
2. Document what you do now
3. Evaluate you’re doing currently
4. Create a simple check sheet to follow
5. Make a few adjustments
6. Put them in place for a few weeks
7. Measure your results
8. Evaluate again
9. Make a few adjustments
10. Update your process documentations
11. Update your simple check sheet to follow
12. Put them in place for a few weeks
13. Measure your results
14. Evaluate again
So are you getting it now? It’s only seven simple steps repeated over and over… and continuing to repeat those seven simple steps. Once you feel you’ve got the 1st process nailed… Reward yourself and now start on the next 2nd area by picking an area to focus on and follow the same steps. Once this becomes a habit you can work on multiple areas at once…
Congratulations! You’re on your way to making your business better than it was yesterday!by