Developing your business is an ongoing process that requires intentional effort. There are three stages worth considering if you’re wanting to see your business grow.
Wondering what the difference is between creativity and innovation? As Theodore Levitt is quoted as saying ‘Creativity thinks up new things. Innovation does new things.’
Innovation keeps asking ‘what is getting in the way of my patients getting what they came to my business for?’ Innovation takes the point of view of your patient, or clients. It seeks to solve their problems and make accessing your service easier. Easier for yourself, your employees and the patient.
In a world with plenty of competition, innovation can mean the difference between a patient choosing your services, over another. When it’s easier to access your service, you’re automatically above the competition. It’s easier for patients to visit your business and receive care. Which ultimately means more money in your pocket at the end of the day.
Developing innovation takes effort, but it’s worth it. Keep asking ‘What’s the best way to do this?’. Consider how you can simplify processes in your business, and/or establish your individuality as a business. If you can build a culture of innovation in your small business you’ll be on your way to producing the results you’ve been looking for.
But innovation cannot exist by itself.
Quantification makes innovation effective. It’s how you can see if the changes you’re making are effective, or if your time and resources could be better spent elsewhere. This is about taking stock of the facts of your business before, and after you implement changes.
But where do you start?
A great place to start is to quantify your business. That is, put numbers to every aspect of your business.
These are just a few examples of questions that can be helpful to ask.
It can feel like a bit of a waste of time writing these figures down. But by having an accurate read on your business you’ll be able to notice changes, even if they’re small, and attribute them to the change you’ve made. This can help you figure out if it was worth it to make your online booking system more efficient, for example.
It may be helpful to do a regular audit of the quantifiable aspects of your business. This can help you to keep an eye on the way your business is trending and consider what is most effective for your situation.
Once you’ve brought innovation into your business, and quantified the effect it’s had, it’s time to ‘orchestrate’. That is, if you know that what you’ve begun trialling is having a positive effect, it’s time to make it standard across your business.
The E-Myth Revisited gives the example of salespeople having greater sales when they wear a blue suit, as opposed to a brown. Once they know that this is effective, there’s no point continuing on with wearing a brown suit. Wear blue for every sale.
In the above example, we see that once we’re aware of a positive impact from our innovation, it’s time to eliminate the option of choosing the less effective way of doing things. This is how you establish the way your business does things.
By having a ‘set way’ that things are done, your patients can expect that they will have the same experience each time. This may mean offering training to your staff on your welcoming process or shifting to an online booking system completely. Having established processes provides staff and patients with reassurance each time they come into contact with your business.
Does orchestration mean that you stick with your innovation forever? No. It doesn’t. This process is one that places emphasis on development. Only stick with what you’ve put in place for as long as it’s working. If it begins to not have the results you’d like (which you’ll be able to see early on, because of quantification), it’s time to start this three-step process over.
With these three steps, you’ll be able to put in place a dynamic attitude towards doing business. One that will hold you in good stead to continue to review the best ways of doing business, see their results, and implement them more broadly.
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