Whether you are very satisfied, mildly satisfied or downright frustrated with your business right now, we can all agree on something: There is room for improvement.
We can always improve. That can be inspiring or depressing depending on how you look at it.
On one hand, we’ll never “arrive.” That day where we lean back and say, “OK, I’ve done it all. I’ve conquered this,” will never come. As soon as we think we have arrived, a new mountain of challenges will be in front of us.
At the same time, this can be exciting. We can always improve. We can look for new and better ways to serve others.
So if we’re honest and realize that improvement is always going to be part of our life and our business – it’s probably good to think through what improvement is going to look like and how to do it efficiently and effectively.
What to improve
While we can improve anything, we can’t improve everything.
At Kahuna, we are constantly reminding ourselves of the 80/20 principle that 80 percent of the results will come from 20 percent of the effort.
Knowing that, we are constantly evaluating and thinking through the things that actually make a difference. Those are improvements that can make a huge difference.
If our business Facebook page gets very little attention and does nothing to drive our business, then I can improve it, but will that really matter?
The first step in making meaningful improvement is to decide the right things to improve in for the greatest impact.
What does improvement mean for you?
The next step in improving is by far the most important – defining what improvement means for you.
That means setting a goal. Too often our complaints and frustrations are vague and presented as if we have no control over the outcome.
We are too reactive and let things happen to us, and we simply drift along and look back to see if we improved. We need to be looking forward, identifying our target then mapping a process to get there.
So if you are frustrated with your client acquisition process, you need to take the time to think back and decide what you want it to look like.
Think of how you’d want it if everything was perfect. Now you have a target. You can take that and compare it to your current situation.
What’s missing? What needs to change?
Now you’ve identified the gap. Now you know what you need to work on for improvement.
A Plan to Get There
To reiterate a previous point, improvement doesn’t just happen.
We have the ability to dictate exactly what we want to improve and take steps every day to make something more efficient, more profitable or more satisfying.
The only way to do that is to have a plan. You have to have something to measure where you are, and measure where you want to go.
Without any metrics to measure, how can you know what improvement is. And once you uncover those metrics, you can work backwards to determine a path to get there.
And determining the path is equally as important as the steps you’ll take along the path.
This is what we are passionate about at Kahuna. We work with entrepreneurs all the time who have spent their whole business life looking backward and reacting to what happens.
There is no forward vision, no plan and no goal for improvement.
It Doesn’t Happen Overnight
The final point about improvement is to remember it is an incremental, steady, daily growth. It’s not easy and it’s definitely not instantaneous.
This can be the most frustrating part about improvement – that we often can’t measure the results until much effort has been put in.
That makes the planning part all the more important. That’s where we need to fix our eyes. Not on what’s happening today, but on where we want to be.
Keep focused on where you are going – the end target, and work every day to get there. Look forward, not backward, and then eventually you’ll get to the destination you have planned.
We want to help
Because we know how difficult this planning process can be, we have teamed up with Law Firm Practice Management and Business Plan specialist Peggy Gruenke to create a powerful 30-day course to help you set a plan for marketing and finance and be intentional about how you prepare for 2015.Join the course here