When talking to my clients about their business growth, I’m always trying to get them to think outside of the box. It’s very easy to become all consumed within the business, almost blinkered to what’s going on outside. However not taking time to look around us could be costly. There are many resources in our environment we can explore for fresh inspiration and these valuable 4 are often forgotten or ignored.
1. Get outside counsel
Sportspeople are a great example of looking to others for inspiration. Think of any major team, athlete or individual, they’ve all got coaches. A coach will sometimes spot minute things that can be changed for an improved result. Who could you ask to do that for your business? Business coaches, new employees and even existing staff may have ideas of small changes in processes that could bring about business growth.
2. Other industries
What about when you need to design a new product or service, where do you look? Many years ago a marine inventor told me that his inspiration is nature, with the idea that nothing is new. When he needed to design a new rudder he looked to fast sea creatures and based the design of the rudder on the shark.
It’s unusual for us to look outside of our own industry for inspiration for business growth. Sticking to what you know can be extremely restrictive. Let’s take a service delivery company such as a website designer as an example. They may well argue that they could learn nothing from a manufacturer.
In fact, the website designer (or any service delivery business) could learn a lot from a manufacturer by exploring how they use processes to maximise output.
By understanding and documenting processes in a service delivery business two things could happen:
- In documenting the process a natural review will take place; are all stages necessary, could any streamlining occur?
- Using the process as an ongoing checklist or project plan will create a heightened momentum, thereby increasing capacity and business growth
3. Use ALL your available skills!
Many small business owners started out as an employee in a big business. Although it’s amazing how much knowledge of big business processes is quickly parked and not applied in the new business.
It’s true that you need to act like a big business, to become a big business (more on this in my recent blog: 4 reasons to act like a big business). So use that big business knowledge to optimise performance. If you’ve always been a small business owner, then get advice from someone you know with a corporate background.
4. Don’t forget the experts
Celebrities should also be inspiring us to focus on what we’re good at and leave the rest to the experts. Rather than try and manage their finances or their diary, celebrities will employ a book-keeper, an agent or a PA. This gives them more time to spend on their day job. We should do the same.
So remember to take time to explore the outside environment. Look at how other people and industries manage their businesses, can you take any inspiration and apply learnings in your own business?
If you’d like help to implement any of my advice, or for a fresh pair of eyes, why not contact me to arrange a Free Business Review? This is a genuinely free 2 hour session whereby I’ll come into the business and spend two hours giving you advice to make positive changes. Click here to arrange yours now.
Have a great month!