It is fascinating to study what makes the difference between a person who owns a small struggling business that stays a small struggling business, and a person who owns a small struggling business that becomes a strong, successful business and an industry leader.
It boils down to the constant innovation, simplification, and optimization of the key systems in your business. This may seem like a tall order, yes. However, I promise you it’s well worth it!
Why? Because the process that sets an industry leader apart from a struggling business owner, and the process that can help an average business owner become an industry leader - is the same thing.
It’s five-step system known as the "PRIMO" Process.
“Primo” is a Latin word that means “first, foremost, and most distinguished.” All the things I know you want to have associated with your business. Here’s an outline of the five-steps to developing the innovative systems that can help you become a distinguished leader in your industry:
1) Prioritize: Prioritize the list of all critical systems* in your business. You will start with the most important ones first.
2) Research: Research and benchmark the current level of effectiveness of the target system.
3) Imagine: Imagine new ways you can innovate the current system. See my example below for clarification. (I intentionally use the word imagine because you must not only “step outside the box” of conventional thinking, you must often smash that old box to pieces!)
4) Make your move! Take action on the 20% that will give you 80% of the needed results.
5) Observe and optimize: Observe your changes, measure and record your results, and change your approach as necessary until you get the results you want.
If you want to accelerate your success and innovate at a pace that you don’t even need to think about what your competitors are doing, you’ll need to rotate different areas of your company in order to polish and perfect.
I coach entrepreneurs on effective techniques for getting the most out their PRIMO Sessions.
Here’s some short-hand of how you can begin to apply the PRIMO Process on your own this, and every, month.
A. Set aside at least two hours once per month to sit down with your team and proactively practice the PRIMO Process on one area that’s critical to your business growth. (For larger companies with 25-plus people, have one meeting per department.)
B. During the month following that first meeting, observe, measure and document the level of improvement generated by the new system.
C. At the start of the following month’s meeting, begin with a brief status report on your target system, and discuss further optimization. Then use the remainder of your meeting to address the next system in order of priority.
You won't be able to achieve a leadership position in your industry without innovation, and you definitely won't maintain that position unless you have systems in place. These two key components of growth can sometimes work against each other and it requires a fine balance between the two. The PRIMO Process is the key to keeping this delicate balance in your company.
*Are you clear about the systems you need to have in place? Ask yourself when doing any task or activity how it could be done with less effort, and more ease. Could someone else do it? Does it need to be done at all? Could it be done in combination with something else?
Coach's Example: Many years ago when I was growing my Shaklee business, I found myself spending a large amount of time at the Post Office sending out packages (95% were less than 1 lb.). It occurred to me I was spending at least one hour of my day driving to and from the PO and waiting in line. It seemed like a lot of wasted time! The situation was also complicated with the fact that my daughter Lexi needed to go along for the ride, too. Imagine me, with an infant, several loose packages, a purse, the line, the traffic (I'm exhausted just thinking about it!). It was a glorious day when I asked myself the question: "What is a better way to do this?!?!" By doing some research, I discovered (a) the mail was picked up and delivered every single day right at my front door, (b) I could purchase a scale for about $15, and (c) have unlimited denominations of postage delivered to my door for a $1 service charge (check out: www.usps.com). While purchasing my scale, I also stocked up on needed supplies. This "gave me" that additional hour to be productive, generate more business and ultimately make more money!
When do you need to ask yourself the question, "What is a better way to do this?" (All the time.) You'll be delighted at the right answers you get from asking the right question.