Question everything about your business. It gets right to the heart of things – even those things that you take for granted. Sadly though, “why” is a question you don’t hear enough in many businesses and it is often drummed out of new people without anyone realising the positive impact it can have on a business. New staff can bring new ideas.
Before making a decision take a moment to ask why. Business owners must constantly explore new ideas and seek out new and innovative thinking from those around them. You need to regularly ask uncomfortable questions and think about whether to change or abandon an existing strategy. Successful owners take a step back and look at the big picture every so often. They surround themselves with diverse teams and capitalize on opportunities to hear and experiment with new ideas.
Don’t accept anything at face value and question everything about your company including fancy offices, unreasonable deadlines, and difficult personalities. By not asking questions you and your staff become complacent and as we know complacency leads to a slow but steady decline and ultimately business failure.
You need to evaluate your products, your sales and marketing, your staff, your process, your finances etc. While questioning everything you must remember you are in business to give your customers what they want. Instil a culture of staff asking questions. When staff feel valued and part of the team you will be amazed how their productivity can increase.
To make your business better you have to understand everything in your business. The previous 3 questions should have helped you understand your business. To have a better business you have to start with the end in mind. You have to know where the business is going – your vision. Your vision must be shared with your staff. Without your staff fully committed to making things better, and ultimately profitable growth, you will struggle to succeed.
Push for excellence in everything and push people to come up with new ways to make things better. Make it your mission for a week or more to look at everything in terms of how it could be improved, rather than what the problems are. What do you want to achieve, protect, avoid and eliminate? There are always things we want to achieve, protect, avoid and eliminate on a personal, team or organizational basis.
What will make the business better? Identify as many as possible and make a list. Examples vary but could include increased sales, better products, cutting costs, avoiding accidents. The point here is that whatever is identified must be relevant to your business and must ensure growth, and must be implemented.
Asking “why” leads to constant innovation. Get your staff to join you, as they often have the answers about what is good and bad. Questioning everything about your business leads to an efficient operation.
Einstein said – “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”.
The writer is a Kigali based business consultant and strategist.