Running a small business is becoming a more and more popular avenue for many people, with 2019 set to result in many more new companies starting. This means that for those in business we will need to continue to reflect on what we are doing and how we can continue to improve that offering. We don’t need to think up huge ideas to make our business a success. This once or twice in a lifetime type of ideas are rare and whilst seem like what we should be spending our lives thinking about – are not.
There will only ever be a few people who come up with the next Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple solutions/products. Interesting, when we think about how successful these industry-leading companies have become it is good to reflect on how long they have been in business for.
Google was founded in September 1998 (hardly an overnight success at 21 years old this year); Facebook was started in February 2004 (A little bit younger at 15 years old); Amazon was founded in July 1994 (25 years old is a lifetime compared to many other businesses) and Apple was started in April 1976 (43 year old and probably older than many readers of this article.
However what all of us have is the ability to do what we have right in front of us really well. The article aims to inspire small business owners to reach their full potential by working out those small tweaks and ideas that can make the difference between another average year in business and a highly successful one.
If you cannot do great things, then do small things in a great way
Too often we think that in order for us to be “successful” in our business we need to do one or two amazing things. Those perfect ideas that will make everything perfect and then we can just sit back and enjoy the ride.
When the reality is there is rarely a panacea that exists (perfect solution) – To succeed in business we generally need to focus on the smaller things and just do them very well.
The Japanese culture has a principle called “Kaizen” this directly translates into “Kai” = Change and “Zen” = Good therefore the end result is Change for good via continuous improvement. This would involve all employees in the business from the most junior person to the CEO. The idea being to consistently looks for ways to improve every aspect of their working day and processes that they are involved with. By making these small improvements or adjustments to their way of working it will result in great positive improvements over time.
It is also a process that is not a top-down approach that many companies may try to implement but rather one design in cooperation and commitment across the whole business.
Spend your time working out what those small changes you need to focus on rather than searching for that perfect answer.
Start by asking yourself those difficult questions like what did we do well last year and what can we do better this year. Ask your team around you what their opinions of last year have been.
Take those lists and look for common ground. That will give you a great starting point for knowing where you need to focus for the year ahead.