According to Wikipedia, a best practice is a method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and that is used as a benchmark. In addition, a “best” practice can evolve to become better as improvements are discovered.
The phrase “best practices” is guidebook-like because it involves the sharing of tried-and-true ways of improving efforts, gaining momentum, and formulating a strategy that allows businesses to be the best they can be thanks to a road map of sage advice from those who have been there before us. I believe anyone who has been in business for any length of time knows there are a few best practices for business that are essential if they want continued success. Yes, there are variables in this line of thinking, primarily, because no two businesses are alike. But at the end of the day, the core of advice for business best practices remains true.Best practices ensure your company is the best it can be. Do you have any?
Hire Good People, and Get out of Their Way: The first time I heard this saying, it was a comment made by American Industrialist Lee Iacocca. Another time, I heard a fresher version uttered by comedian and actress Tina Fey, “In most cases being a good boss means hiring talented people and then getting out of their way.” The core message here is to always strive to hire the best people possible, give them the tools they need to do their job and then get out of their way as opposed to micromanaging them. While it might seem a bit difficult to do at first, it truly does allow your team or employees to do what you hired them to do, more effectively.
Keep Expenses Down: Unless your business has really deep pockets and an endless reserve of cash, keeping tabs on all expenses affiliated with doing business is simply a savvy best practice. Paid systems tools, services, programs, processes and even staff costs need to be reviewed often to prevent your hard-earned money from leaking out. I grab my business credit card statement and a recent bank statement at least once a year to review for leaks. There are always a couple of expenses I find I no longer need, or have even forgotten about. (You know those errant subscriptions to things you no longer use but have forgotten about!)
When in Rome: Oftentimes the best teacher for businesses of any shape or size is learning from other companies who have successfully done what your business strives to do. Taking the time to observe their campaigns, branding and marketing can give your business a clear picture of what will work, and what won’t. Another upside to observing what has worked for your peers or your competition is avoiding mistakes that could ultimately lead to costly consequences for your business.
Record Keeping is Critical: Money, bookkeeping, and record keeping is not high on the like list for many business professionals, but is critical to the lifeblood of any business. Having systems and tools in place to monitor sales, control costs, manage client information, disburse company information and keep your business out of trouble with the tax people is directly related to having a solid record keeping system and practice in place.
Look Sharp-Feel Sharp: When your business looks good inside and out, you do as well. Pride in ownership is a key component to many success companies, and if your internal house is in turmoil, it will show through in your performance as a leader.
Set Yearly Goals: The purpose of goals is to have something to shoot for that will produce results better than those you’ve experienced in the past. If your business isn’t setting yearly goals, it’s a little like a ship leaving the harbor with no destination. Having clear-cut goals encourages business owners and staff to become more competitive, work to increase sales, look for new markets, and look for new products or services to offer existing clients. Set your yearly goals at the beginning of each New Year, break them down into monthly or quarterly goals, and hold everyone involved accountable to know what those goals are in order to reach and exceed them.
Invest in the Best to be Seen by Your Buyers: The reality is your business might have the coolest widget in the world, but it doesn’t mean much if the buying public has never heard of you or can’t find you. Invest in your business by spending money on quality web design and hosting, and hire people smarter than you to work with you to form a marketing plan that will get your information in front of those people who are buyers. Don’t make it hard for your potential customers or clients to find you, buy from you and even connect with you. Communicate a clear mission and strategy regarding your business and work tirelessly to make that mission known. “Out of sight, out of mind” is something your business never wants to fall victim to.
What business best practices do you swear by?
In business since 1991, Terry Green is the founder/CEO/President of BizEase Support Solutions, an American-based, online marketing support company comprised of a team of talented professionals from around North America. BizEase excels at providing speakers and business coaches worldwide with seamless online marketing solutions, from setting up ecommerce solutions, membership sites, web design and maintenance, to writing blog posts and managing Social Media and PR campaigns. BizEase clients (who span five continents) take great joy in allowing the BizEase team to take care of the details so they can get back to doing what they do best! Click here to get our bi-weekly tips ezine delivered to your inbox every other Friday, with tips on plugins, apps, and tools to make you more productive today!