Consistency in business is the secret ingredient if your business has room for improvement in efficiency. We explore why consistency is important in the workplace and how to create consistency in your business.
Imagine you’re a talented chef.
You own a restaurant, the food you serve is delicious.
The only thing is… every now and then, you forget the seasoning.
No big deal, you think. After all, most of the time, you get it right.
But what happens as time moves on?
- Initially, your clients rave about the restaurant. That’s no surprise considering you brim with talent.
- Until… they meet you on one of the non-seasoning days. They’re not happy.
- They leave reviews, tell friends and colleagues.
- Word gets out, your reputation becomes… MIXED.
- Business starts to suffer, …despite the fact that you get it right the majority of the time.
THE PROBLEM IS CONSISTENCY.
I know, I know. This is a restaurant and seasoning is pretty major.
But those almost 100 BYW episodes we journeyed together…
EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM mentions consistency at some stage!
I say that easily answers the question of why consistency is important in business.
Importance Of Consistency In The Workplace
Consistency in business is as essential as seasoning when you discuss…
Your business reputation
Your sales funnel
You catch my drift.
IT’S ABOUT TIME WE ADDRESS THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM.
If we want to get any of these cornerstones in business right, consistency in business is going to come in. And it’s non-negotiable.
After all, the very definition of consistency is “the quality of always behaving or performing in a similar way”.
And while consistency in business (or the lack off) affects a whole range of things, its effect on efficiency that’s on my mind this week.
Consistency Creates Efficiency
It may sound pretty dramatic, but I’ll go as far as saying that consistency can make the difference between failure and success.
In my opinion, the importance of consistency in business is two-fold.
On the one hand, consistency has a trickle-down effect on efficiency within the team.
When you’re consistent in enforcing SOP’s …
Processes become streamlined. I’ll take it even further. “Streamlined processes” are only streamlined in an environment of consistency.
There is no need to waste unnecessary energy in putting out fires and coming up with impromptu solutions because of haphazard workflows or actions. That’s time freed up for more important things.
You know the team delivers work to the standards you expect. You’ll have a happy team, happy business owner, happy clients.
Which brings us to the next point.
The fact that consistency creates efficiency in your services has an effect on the client experience.
When you’re consistent in the services you deliver, there’s nothing hit or miss about the experience your client gets. It’s reliable and predictable.
This predictability fosters a sense of confidence, trust and security, making clients eager to work with you and recommend your services to others. (Unlike the chef in the “oopsie-no-seasoning-today-restaurant”).
The obvious next question is… how do you do it? How to create consistency in your business so it becomes more efficient?
How To Create Consistency In Your Business?
Step 1: SYSTEM AUDIT
It starts with taking stock. What is currently happening in your business?
I like to create a “Touchpoint Map” that identifies all the steps you walk your client through. From the point they first contracted you to the moment you have finished delivering services to them.
I pinpoint areas that could benefit from more structure and consistency. Where do you have consistency in business? And where are you a bit all over the place?
There’s a key observation I made over the years: It’s important to engage a second pair of eyes that can identify your blind spots during this process.
I’ll give you an example of what I mean.
Earlier this week, I was working with a client who identified that their business was quite manual heavy and therefore lacked efficiency.
I did a touchpoint map as part of a system audit, as described above.
What was highlighted quickly was that, not only was their business quite manual-heavy, there also was no off-boarding process. The onboarding and delivery were absolutely on-point. Off-boarding, however … hit and miss.
As the second pair of eyes, I could see it instantly. But when you’re living your business day-in day-out, you simply don’t realise what you're missing. After all, you don’t know what you don’t know!
In my experience, investing in a business operations and automation expert is a great idea when doing a system audit. It takes all the guesswork out of the game and you’ll end up with a targeted plan in your pocket.
I call that a win.
Step 2: STREAMLINE
Next, you move into streamlining your business to create consistency in business, which in turn will have a trickle-down effect on efficiency.
The streamlining work programme will usually fall into three areas:
- Implement and enforce standard operating procedures (SOPs). These are fantastic to bring order to the chaos. Even better, they ensure everyone on your team is on the same page. Regardless of who does the task, it's done the same way every time. (Here’s how you create SOPs for your business.)
- Consider automation with smart technology. There is no shortage of great technology that can do some of the heavy lifting for you. This comes with a word of caution, though: Don’t just implement any technology for the idea of what it can do. Implement the right tool for the unique processes in your business. Then (and this is important) use it consistently. (We’ve written a blog about essential tools for a small service business here)
- If you can't automate, look at delegating. As passionate service providers, we often feel everything is down to us. I’m not telling secrets when I say that this can lead to burnout faster than you can say "efficiency!" So we have to build a reliable team to who we can delegate the tasks we can't automate. This loops back to SOPs. If you have SOPs, the team will carry out the tasks to the standards you want to manage your business.
TA-DAA: your consistency in business has created efficiency!
Do You Need Any Help With That?
So there you go! That’s how to create consistency in your business so it becomes more efficient.
It’s my personal experience consistency is the unsung hero, the secret ingredient (the seasoning ) in any efficient business.
So, if you know efficiency is a problem, or has room for improvement, consistency can’t be overlooked.
As always, if you need help to work through the process of creating consistency in business so you improve overall efficiency, reach out to me! I’m here to guide you.
Get in touch here.