A Simple Routine to Get a Competitive Edge in Your Industry

system of highways to show the value of having a simple system in your business.

Here’s where the magic happens. We’ve identified the vision, spotlighted the opportunities, and set the systems in motion. 

The final step to this flywheel is:

Iteration

It’s time to ask yourself and your employees, “What is the one small part that will improve the whole?” This is your chance to be Harry Potter, waving your wand to transform one key aspect that elevates everything. Review, discuss, implement and then – magic – improved outcomes!

Okay, it’s not really magic. It just feels like magic because, after a short while, you can see results. It takes creativity, diligence, and measurement to ensure quality improvements.

I recently worked with a client who struggles with creating a consistent customer journey. Customers often had small complaints—nothing major, just issues that irritate them. This is where we focused. 

We mapped out all the different processes and routines for the customer journey. Then we documented where the most friction was happening. We held an ideation session and voted on the best ideas. Then three of the employees took the lead on implementing these ideas. 

We made sure not to make this mandatory. We wanted people who were excited and engaged to do the work.

Roadmapping

We created a three-month roadmap for the three ideas and broke the projects into tasks (inputs) and key performance indicators (outputs). Once we had the plan and measurements in place, we ran with the ideas. 

The best part of this story is that customer retention increased by 6% and almost doubled to 10% after just six months. 

The more that they keep iterating on their processes the more this will improve. It’s important to remember it’s not about being perfect. Every individual and company has strengths and weaknesses. We have to be honest with where we are currently at with our work. Then, we can make good decisions about where to out our focus. Then, we can fail forward. It’s about being comfortable with trying new processes, failing at them, iterating to improve on these mistakes, and turning them into opportunities. 

Continuous Improvement

The subtle shift of iterating on your processes creates a growth mindset in the company. Carol Dweck, the author of Growth Mindset, likes to say, “You try something, it doesn’t work, and maybe people even criticize you. In a fixed mindset, you say, ‘I tried this, it’s over.’ In a growth mindset, you look for what you’ve learned.”

Continuous improvement, often inspired by philosophies like Kaizen, represents not just a strategy but a mindset that permeates the most successful businesses. It’s a relentless pursuit of betterment in all facets of an organization, from processes and products to people and productivity. Here’s why it stands out as a particularly powerful tool in the business realm.

By constantly seeking ways to streamline operations, businesses can reduce waste — whether that’s time, resources, or effort — leading to increased efficiency. This ongoing process of refinement ensures that operations are lean and agile, capable of delivering maximum value with minimal waste.

Continuous improvement encourages a culture of creativity and innovation. It’s about always looking for better ways to do things, which naturally leads to innovative ideas and solutions. This not only keeps a business competitive but also often leads to breakthroughs that can define new standards in the industry.

Quality

A focus on continual enhancement means that quality checks are integrated into every step of the process rather than being an afterthought. This proactive approach to quality management ensures products and services consistently meet or exceed customer expectations, fostering brand loyalty and trust.

By consistently working to improve products, services, and customer interactions, businesses can better meet the evolving needs and expectations of their clients. Happy customers are more likely to remain loyal, provide positive referrals, and contribute to a strong, positive brand reputation.

A culture of continuous improvement also benefits employees by encouraging them to contribute ideas, learn new skills, and develop professionally. This not only leads to personal growth but also enhances job satisfaction and engagement, reducing turnover and fostering a more knowledgeable and capable workforce.

Competitive Edge

In a world where change is the only constant, the ability to continuously adapt and improve provides a competitive edge. Businesses that are committed to constant improvement are better equipped to respond to market changes, technological advancements, and customer demands swiftly and effectively.

Continuous improvement processes often rely on metrics and data to identify areas for enhancement and to measure the impact of changes. This emphasis on data-driven decision-making helps businesses avoid guesswork, making strategies more effective and outcomes more predictable.

Ultimately, the cumulative effect of ongoing improvement is a stronger competitive position in the market. Businesses that are constantly evolving are more likely to innovate, meet customer needs, and respond to challenges effectively, setting them apart from competitors.

This is the 3rd article that explains the VOSI Method. You can read the first article focused on the first step here (Vision). You can read the 2nd article (Opportunity) here. The 3rd article (Systems) will be coming soon.

If you want to get started on utilizing the VOSI Method in your business, then start by becoming friction-free so you can focus on what moves the needle for your company. When you sign up for updates, you’ll get the roadmap guide to help you lay out a timeline for doing the most important projects that drive the most value for your customers.

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Photo by Deva Darshan on Unsplash

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