Don’t Reinvent The Wheel: Winning In Business By Making Your Version Better

There are so many bits of advice out there for business owners these days. Inevitably some of these end up conflicting with others, leaving you wondering which to follow. Or if you follow all of them, where you will end up. “Take a punt and go for it, but eliminate risk? How? Diversify your strategy and focus on what you do well? What are you talking about?” It’s easy to feel paralysed by choice.

And when you’re left confused by the myriad “right” ways to do business, it’s easy to fall into the examples you see set for you. Unless you’ve got an entirely unique business, you’ll have competition. So you look at the leaders in your field and aim to do what they’re doing. But there’s a drawback there, too. As I’m sure you’ll have noticed, they’re already doing that, and they’ve been doing it longer.

So what is the revolutionary tip to make sure your business grows? It’s not that revolutionary, really. You simply need to have a commitment to excellence.

Step 1: Hire The Right People

Hiring the right people takes longer, but means less time spent making them fit

We’ve all been in the early stages of a process – be it home renovation, healthy eating or something else – and just wanted to get started. And to get moving sooner, we’ll often race off the starting line. It’s tempting to do that in business, too. The early bird, and all that.

But stall for a moment. When picking staff, are you going for people who are “good enough”? Wouldn’t it be better, even if it slows you down a little, to pick people who are the best? Easier said than done, yes. But spend some time crafting a person specification, and don’t hire until you find someone who fits it. Quality is better than speed.

Step 2: Prioritise The Customer Journey

Customer service and relations have become such a trope in business that the words have lost all meaning. Of course you want the customer to be happy – but so many companies now focus their resources on complaint handling.

From the moment a customer steps in, they need to feel listened to

And you need to be good at that, but it distracts from preventing the complaints in the first place. The use of an audit consultancy can identify areas where you can improve the customer experience without even being asked. Make every customer think “I wish all businesses could be like this.”

Step 3: When You’re Already Excellent, Improve

Classroom training can enhance your employees’ skills

The history of business is littered with examples of companies who changed unnecessarily and took a beating for doing so. This can make it difficult to amend your practices if you’re already doing well. But the prize for getting it right is worth the effort.

What’s important here is making sure any changes are in line with the way you do things. It means hiring additional staff to bring down waiting times. It means increasing interactivity, so it’s easier to make appointments or bookings. It does not mean getting rid of existing services to replace them with “better” ones. Or implementing a script for employees to make every interaction identical.

The bottom line, if you want your business to stand out as a leader, is to focus on what makes you great and do that more. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. It’s better to concentrate on making the wheel you do have as close to perfect as you can get it.

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