Is Your Business Operating Better Than Your Competitors?
I want to talk to you guys a little bit today about operational excellence.
How well are you doing against your competition? I was recently at a business owner’s networking event that was covering this topic. And it always strikes me as a little bit odd when you see a lot of small business owners talking about operational excellence because it’s usually a topic that’s reserved for larger, more mature corporations. In other words, companies that are interested in improving their processes and focused on BPM, going lean, and providing more agile approaches within their business.
So, when I hear small business owners talking about operational excellence, it always kinda catches my interest, especially in regard to their definition of it. Are we talking about the same thing?
What exactly is operational excellence?
Operational excellence, at its most basic form, comes down to execution.
It’s about executing consistently and reliably over a long period (the last part is crucial). So, not a few days, weeks, or a month or two. It’s about being able to consistently execute at a high level over a long period.
So what does this mean for small business owners? As I mentioned, it strikes me as a little odd what I hear small business owners talking about it, because it’s something usually reserved for larger corporations that are trying to improve their existing infrastructure.
But for small business owners, consistent execution is incredibly important because this is what you see is lacking in a lot of small businesses.
When we talk about whether or not you can outpace your competitors as a small business owner, it comes down to one of the core tenants of operational excellence – the execution piece. Are you executing your business plan, strategy, operations, on a consistently high level over the long term?
Because when you don’t have consistency in your execution, you inevitably fall behind with your competitors. This is what we’re talking about when it comes to operational excellence.
So as a small business owner, it is crucial. Are you executing consistently at a high level? Would you outpace your competitors if you all had the same strategies?
That’s the major question that a lot of people are asking. There are a lot of businesses that do the same thing. There are a lot of coaches, consultants, online businesses; but, if you had the same strategies – and a lot of small businesses do – would you be able to outpace your competitors?
Would you be able to outpace your competitors?
This usually comes down to consistency in your marketing execution, client experience, and sales process.
If all of those are not consistent, then you might not be operating to your full potential. And this is likely where you’re going to fall behind your competitors.
So how do you implement this within a small business? A few core tenants, really.
First, what is your strategy?
Are you clear on what you’re trying to do in your business, and is everyone in your business clear on it too? In other words, is your tech person, your VA, or your business partner all on the same page?
They need to be if you’re going to consistently execute at a high level. So it comes down to getting clear on your strategy and making sure that it is properly disseminated in your team.
Second, do you have the right team to support you?
This is a huge step where a lot of small business owners go wrong because they only think of bringing on a team once they get to a certain revenue or customer number.
But when you delay bringing on the team, that’s where you start to fall behind. Then, this is what leads to a lack of consistency and ability to execute.
Trust me – I tried to do this myself. But it’s impossible to do it all alone. So if you want to operate at a consistently high level and outpace your competitors, you have to confide in your team’s support. You cannot do it alone. And that’s something that you need to take to heart if you are a small business owner and want to be able to differentiate yourself from the competition.
These are the two main pieces that, at a small business level, are going to push you into an area of operational excellence.
As you become larger, other complex pieces come into play, including business process mapping alongside operational effectiveness, general approaches, and so forth. For the most part, you don’t have to worry about that. As a small business owner, it’s all about making sure that you have a clear strategy, that your team knows it so that they can properly support the business, and then… making sure you actually have a team supporting the day-to-day operations of the business so that you can consistently execute at a high level.
So – where does your business fall within the scale of operating excellence? Do you think you would outpace your competitors if they had similar strategies to you?
Drop me a comment below and let me know, or feel free to reach out if you have any questions and want to chat further about bringing operational excellence to your own company.
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