It is thrilling to spring into action and improve the business by creating an improvement action list. One of the worst things a business owner can do is get complacent.
A complacent entrepreneur does not think about ways to improve the business. Complacency means the death of innovation, improvement, and growth. If you find yourself growing complacent with how things are going in your business, step back and look at your business through the objective eyes of an outsider.
When you look at your business with objective eyes, look at the following areas (not listed in order of importance):
employee turnover rates
customer retention rates
return on investment
adherence to business plan
If all these things are at the top of the range expected for a business of your size, in your industry, excellent. If there are one or more areas that are not at the top of the charts, you have the first items that should be placed on your business improvement action list.
A business improvement action list is a list, not in order of priority, of areas where action needs to be taken so that improvements in the business can be made. In some businesses, the action list is something that all members of the business can contribute to creating. In those businesses, all owners and employees are encouraged to think of ways to make the company better and to share those ideas.
Management goes through the lists on a regular basis and selects items to act on, decides where improvements will be made. At other companies, business improvement lists are created by select persons only. Either method is fine. The method for creating the improvement action list is not the important part. The important part is being on the lookout for areas to improve.
If an entrepreneur works under the ABI plan aka the always be improving method she will always find areas to improve. Over time, this method will improve every area of her business. Improving a business is similar to improving a home. You start with a remodel of the living room including new curtains and furniture. Once that is done, the dining room looks dated in comparison. Once the dining room has been improved the kitchen looks out-of-place. Soon the entire house has been recreated.
A similar thing happens when one starts improving her business. If you improve your employee retention rate you will notice improvements to the customer service procedures are needed.
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If you want to be successful as an entrepreneur, it is important to avoid complacency and to always be on the lookout for things to improve in your business. It may not be possible to remember every item that needs to be improved or ideas on how to make the improvements. That is why it is important to have the list in writing. It can be stored electronically or via the proven and true pen and paper method. This is another area where the method of putting the information together is not important. What is important is that the list gets created, maintained, and at some point, acted upon.
So, the question for you this thrilling day is what are you going to put on your business improvement action list?