In business as in life, it is important to adapt and improve, but you do not have to reinvent the wheel in order to do it. In order to improve and grow, you must look deep before you leap and move forward with a plan. Think of the goal not as finding a new way to catch mice, but as building a better mousetrap.
In order to be great, you do not have to re-invent the wheel, instead improve the wheels you have.
It is important to realize that in order to be great, you do not have to re-invent the wheel, instead, you can simply improve the wheels you have. In the life cycle of every business, there comes a time when you need to do something different. This can be because the market has changed, or perhaps laws have made change necessary or the old methods may have simply stopped working. For example, when my husband and I started in the mortgage industry, mortgage loan docs were sent via overnight delivery to closing agents so the loans could be signed by borrowers. If there was a problem with the documents, the entire set would have to be reprinted and resent from the mortgage company to the loan officer and closing agent. This meant if there was a problem at a real estate settlement at 4 pm on a Friday, the documents would have to be redone and all the parties would have to reschedule the settlement and the following Tuesday may be the earliest date possible.
After a time, the documents were emailed to loan officers and closing agents. All the documents were the same. Everyone had to follow the same rules and regulations as before. The improvement was that document delivery could be done in minutes instead of in days. This was a very convenient solution because if there was a problem with any of the documents, the mortgage companies could email amended documents to the parties with a mere moment’s notice, and real estate settlements would be delayed only a matter of minutes rather than days. This was a convenience for all parties and was a money saver for all concerned. A small improvement in the way the product was delivered, resulted in a large change in efficiency, timeliness, and customer satisfaction.
This change in the mortgage industry was needed. It was an important change and it made business easier and more efficient for loan officers, mortgage lenders, and borrowers. The small change of delivering documents via email rather than via overnight delivery was a game-changer. It benefited the mortgage company by saving time, money, and helping with improved accuracy. It helped loan officers and closing agents by enabling them to give customers better service and make changes with customers’ convenience and schedules in mind. Customers were helped because the process was smoother and easier for them if changes were needed. This is an example of how a real-life industry chose to make the wheel on the existing car better rather than reinvent the wheel. It is an important skill to learn.
The mortgage lenders did not reinvent the mortgage industry. They simply looked for a way to make the loan closing process better for all parties concerned. They improved the delivery process they used and in return were able to operate more efficiently and more profitably. Look for similar ways to improve things in your business. No matter what your business is, you must seek out ways to improve how you do things. When you think of a way to improve things, you don’t have to follow the “go big or go home” mindset. Instead, you can look for small improvements along the way. Is there something you can do more efficiently? Are there tasks you can combine so that things run smoother? Can you think of a way you can improve the customer experience?
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When it comes to business, remember, ABI aka Always Be Improving.
Almost everyone has heard the expression, “for everything there is a season.” When things are seasonal, they start off fresh and new but eventually, the season ends and it is time do something new. No matter how successful and profitable a business idea is, there will come a time when it needs to be replaced, modified or changed. When it is time for a change, take your time and think carefully, come up with a plan. Remember that you don’t have to totally redo your business. You can make improvements that will enable you to remain profitable, successful and well run.
Start today with the idea that you will always be improving your business. Today, take a look around your business with a critical and objective eye. Make a list of all the places where improvements are needed, some common things that need improvement are:
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Once you have this list, start tracking the things would like to improve. Realistically speaking, you will not be able to improve everything at one time. Start with one thing on the list and improve that. Then move to another item on the list. It is a good idea to keep a running list of things to improve in your business. Use that list to continually make improvements at your place of business. It is important to never get to a point where you think you do not have to improve. It is a mistake to think that once your business has become profitable and sustainable that you do not have to look for ways to improve. To the contrary, you must always be improving. In other words, just as you are constantly working and trying to make a profit, you should be constantly trying to improve your business.
There is no feeling in the world like being at the helm of a business that is operating on all cylinders.When you are always improving your business and seeing it reach new heights as a result, the feeling is even better. It is important to always be improving so that you can always be succeeding. So, the question for you on this thrilling day is, what is the next thing you are going to improve with your business?
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