Large companies, if they’re successful, are very familiar with the term “Best Practices.” Many small business owners may know what it means but may feel it’s unnecessary to have them in place until they have grown their company.
Best Practice? What’s That?
It is an idea or strategy used to improve performance and provide consistency to tasks you do every day.
I’m a Small Business. Why Should This Be Important to Me?
If you’re a smaller company, it’s equally important to identify solutions that will help you with the challenges you face regularly. Not sure of the direction as it applies to your business? Do your research and see what others are doing. Better yet, ask a larger company to mentor you, and perhaps you can offer some assistance in return.
How Will Using the Ideas of Others Help My Business?
- Reduction in Costs
Most small businesses do not have expendable revenue to create and implement a big idea. That’s fine, be creative, and do your research to see what’s working for others. You can accomplish this by perhaps joining an association where people in your industry share ideas and brainstorm as a group to find solutions that work.
- Fewer Mistakes
When you try to do it yourself through trial and error, you risk making costly blunders. Business to business learning can help keep the cash flow flowing. The saying, “We all learn from our mistakes” is accurate; however, it can be a negative when it comes at a significant cost to your company.
- Increase in Performance
When you search for result-oriented best practices outside of your business, it can change the way your customers/clients and staff (if you have one) look at you. Raising the bar can play a considerable role in taking your company to the next level.
Creating Best Practices for Your Company
The process to get to the point you want is a critical role before implementing an idea. Many businesses don’t take the necessary steps to learn and fail, resulting in frustration and falling back into bad habits.
An example of a best practice:
Your company is interested in driving more traffic to their website and heard that another business held educational seminars about topics where they are experts. They experienced a 10% increase in qualified leads. This fact alone isn’t enough for you to immediately create an online webinar and invite people from your database. Dig a little deeper, and you may find that their success was because they limited the online guests to 20 people, and they made confirmation calls to the 20 people the day before to affirm their attendance. Once you confirm the steps taken to make the other company successful, you can then implement it in your company. Make sure to write it down, so you do not need to reinvent the wheel each time and follow the road map you created. And of course, continue to change and evolve as you move forward.
Reaching Out to Other Businesses
Many are happy to help, and it may be a good idea to choose non-competitors as they may be wary of talking to you about internal practices. In most cases, some companies may operate as yours does, but is not a direct competitor. Be sure to choose multiple-sized companies to “interview” and have your questions ready. Perhaps as a follow-up, send a handwritten thank-you note and include something like a $10 coffee card to the person you spoke for the time they spent with you.