Today we are in an era of unprecedented challenges. Business leaders are experiencing exponential change, confronting daily obstacles and even business slaying land-mines. What can you do to strengthen your business, survive the battle and position yourself to thrive in the future? One proven strategy is to implement best practices. Effective leaders consistently look both inside and outside their business for new solutions, ideas, and best practices that will get them to a higher level of performance.
What is a Best Practice?
Best practices are the most efficient and effective way of accomplishing an activity based on proven, repeatable procedures. Leading companies use best practices (a philosophical approach based around continuous learning) to find ideas and strategies to improve performance. A best practice can be a method, process, activity, incentive, or reward that is more effective at delivering a particular outcome than any other technique or process. Best Practices Include:
- A deep focus on revenue-producing activities and cost reduction
- Use of metrics to make better decisions
- Use of partners to learn and instill best practices
- Proactively mitigating risks
While you may be facing a multitude of overwhelming challenges, you can also choose to be agile, flexible, customer centric and responsive to innovation. Best practices is when you utilize available reports and watch the flow of information to understand key data that is helping and hurting your business. Listed below are just a few reasons to implement or deepen the use of best practices in your business.
Why Implement Best Practices?
- Improve Performance by placing continual focus on raising the bar and setting new standards of excellence.
- Remain Competitive with better processes and ideas that will help you overcome larger competitors with deeper pockets.
- Reduce Costs wherever possible. We know you have likely done a lot of this, but continue to look closely at your numbers and evaluate all options.
- Avoid Mistakes and learn from others. You can save time, money, and headache by understanding your metrics and partnering with an executive coach.
- Find New Ideas and put them into practice in every facet of your business, innovation is a requirement and key driver of business success.
Best Practices for CEOs
In addition to overall business dashboards, metrics and monthly reports it is also important for CEOs and top level business executives to apply a more personalized version of best practices to better lead and motivate employee and strengthen customer relations. Take the time to discover what data and reports you need to better lead your team. If it already exist, use it and if it doesn't, create the metrics so you can lead from your best practices.
The Softer Side of Best Practices
Get to Know Every Person on your Team
- Make the time to learn everyone's name.
- Understand what every employees role is and how they align with your overall business goals. Ask them specifically, what is going well with their work and what could use improvement.
- Get to know your team as both employees and as individuals. Let them know you are genuinely interested in what they have to say and ask for ideas on ct or process improvement.
- Take the time to greet people, smile and always be friendly.
Know your Customer
In addition to knowing who your largest and most valuable clients are, it is important to know, how they interact with your company and what they need from your products and services. If you have multiple product lines with different types of customers, it is also important to learn the characteristics or "persona" of each type of customer you sell to and service. Here are a few tips to build stronger customer relationships:
- Schedule periodic in person meetings with your customers. Have the meeting in their offices so you can learn first hand how your products are used and even discover ways to improve your services.
- Allot more time than you think you need. If you expect a meeting will take 2 hours, give yourself more time. Even if the meeting with the decision maker ends on time, ask to visit with your products users. Valuable relationship building often happen after the meeting ends, so leave yourself open and let your customer know you are there for them.
- Identify your top 100 customers and apply metrics to ensure their satisfaction.
- Measure customer satisfaction and retention and implement strategies to improve those metrics.