What are Best Practices? February 24, 2012Best PracticesBest Practices, Business Plan, Starting a businessMike Mann My business book describes many “Best Practices.” A Best Practice is an ideal procedure for your business. It might be a certain hiring strategy, a certain production plan, or a certain marketing technique. You must employ a Best Practice in each of these areas to be successful. Get the right people on your team, find the most efficient way to produce your goods or services, and get your target audience to buy what you sell. Together, multiple Best Practices make up a business strategy that puts you ahead of your competition. How to Identify Best Practices To identify your Best Practices, test everything you do in your business. Document every procedure in your company and check it for efficiency. Make certain everything your business does is effective. To identify the Best Practices of other companies, study them and figure out what makes them successful. When you find their strength, you should figure out a way to imitate that strength or to capitalize on your existing strengths to surpass theirs. The business book MakeMillions.Com highlights several excellent Best Practices for you to start with. Some of them are: Pay attention to details, especially when communicating! Be polite and patient with customers and clients Work quickly and constantly strive to improve your practices Spend 85% of your time on profitable activities and the remaining 15% on improvement Make sure you and your team are constantly reading to stay up on new practices The Origin of Best Practices: Kaizen The concept of Best Practices actually comes from the Japanese term “kaizen,” meaning good and continuous improvement. Kaizen includes five principles: tidy, orderly, clean, standardized, and sustained. An attractive and organized workplace that is free of clutter is key to maintaining productivity. Employees in such an environment will naturally be more efficient and effective. Then you can work to find what is most efficient and effective and make that your standard operating procedure. Once that standard is in place, you must work hard to sustain your success. Best Practices depend greatly on context and will change as your industry changes. To sustain your success, you must review and revise your Best Practices often to make sure they are still best for your circumstances. To stay ahead of your competition, you will probably need to make changes in your products and services, your marketing, your business plan, or all of the above. Each time you make a change, your business will be stronger for it. You will be able to leverage your business to meet your goals. Leverage your Best Practices for Success Once you have identified the Best Practices for your business, you must use them to leverage your success. To implement a Best Practice, document it by describing the practice and offering a brief explanation of why it is best. You will remember the Best Practice better, and your team will be able to adopt it more easily. Once you and your team have adopted good procedures, you can focus on growth. Your business strategy must constantly evolve as the market changes. Your target audience may grow, shrink, alter their preferences, or change in other ways. You must adapt with them in order to keep your edge in the market. Everything you do in your business must be bankable. While there are some necessary activities that do not make money, the vast majority of what you do should generate strong profits. When you get to this level of operation, you will never need to worry about breaking even. Instead, you will be able to focus on staying ahead of your competition and keeping the market share you need to succeed.