At one time a packaging business was offering leading edge of innovative packaging called stand up pouches. When launched this was an innovative and cost effective packaging option.
Now when I look in my local grocery stores I see stand up pouches everywhere.
What at one time (not that long ago!) was new and innovative is now standard.
I’m sure you have experienced something like this in your business.
So how do you handle it? On top of everything else you have to deal with and focus on with the day to day running of your business how do you also stay innovative?
Earl Nightingale was a famous radio host for more than 40 years and he is best known for his recording “The Strangest Secret”.
Earl’s Strangest Secret was that “We become what we think about“, and one of his suggestions was regardless of the business you are in, whether you own it or you are an employee, always be engaged in an improvement project.
If you own a motel, you could redo one room at a time. Freshen it up, have it look new, and then move onto the next room.
When you finish the last room, start back on the first room.
By always having something being improved in your business, you create a culture of continuous improvement which affects your thinking, your team’s engagement and your customers’ involvement.
A simple way of engaging continuous improvement in your business is to pay attention to what your customers are saying to you – the comments they make, the questions they ask, the complaints they have.
Everything your customers say to you is valuable market research. You hear it every day but most businesses hear the words but miss the message.
In Module Two of The Profit Generator Program we tap into customers’ feedback using The Customer Goldmine Analysis™ exercise.
“Your customers are always talking to you – are you listening”?
If you are listening, your customers will always tell you what they want. Solving what they want opens up unlimited opportunity for growth plus often simple improvement ideas that create your continuous improvement culture.
Click here for more information on The Profit Generator Program
and start engaging continuous improvement in your business today!
Another area to engage continuous improvement in your business is directly with your team.
Marty Edelstein, the owner of Boardroom Inc, the largest publisher in the States with its Bottom Line periodicals created a continuous improvement program with his employees called I-Power.
It was a phenomenally successful program that Marty credited with the growth of his business from $10 million to $100 million a year – growth that happened without significantly increasing his staff or overhead.
What is the I-Power Program?
It is a weekly meeting structure with small groups of team members where each team member comes with one or two simple ideas of what they can do to improve their role, improve their work area, improve their team work, improve their results, or improve the company and customer experience.
Ken Glickman became the master trainer of the I-Power Program, and taught the program to companies, employees, entrepreneurs as well as individuals.
Ken’s famous line is “What is one small thing I can do to …”
You can apply this question to anything!
- What is one small thing I can do to improve customer service?
- What is one small thing I can do to improve our bottom line or reduce expenses?
- What is one small thing I can do to be more efficient?
- What is one small thing I can do to improve morale?
- What is one small thing I can do to have a happy home environment?
- What is one small thing I can do to have my child love school?
The secret in this question is by asking it on a regular basis you change your outlook from reacting to what feels imposed on you to engaging with your circumstances and creating what you want.
Can you imagine the power of having everyone on your team engaged in continuous improvement thinking?…
…having them ask the question “What can I do in my role to improve my job, my results, the customer experience or the success of the company?”
Consider that your employees are the experts in their role in your company. They literally do their job every day and understand their role inside and out.
Which means they are also the expert in how to improve what they do and how it is done.
Sometimes it is the simplest of ideas that produce the greatest results.
At Boardroom one of the employees in the mail room noticed that if they reduced the size of the books they were making – the physical height and width of the covers – just slightly (less than ¼ inch) the books would be shipped at a lower postal rate.
That idea saved the company hundreds of thousands of dollars every year!
Now not every idea will generate that level of results – and that’s just fine! Because the real benefit is creating a continuous improvement culture in your company, where everyone is actively engaged and your business is growing, thriving and a fun place to work!
The only thing constant in life is change.
You have a foundation of success with your business – turn on your continuous improvement culture by tapping into your customer feedback and engaging your team
What is one simple thing you can do in your business to start a continuous improvement culture?
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