Which Is Better: To Make MONEY or PROFITS?
Do you run or manage a business? If YES, here's a question for you:- Which is better - To make money? . . . OR to make PROFITS? I prefer the latter. Think about it a little bit, and I'm sure the reason I chose the latter will become obvious. :-)
As a Performance Enhancement Specialist, my focus on making profits is what makes me ask business owners this other question: “If You're Making Money, Does That Mean You Should Not Try To Make Even MORE Money, In Less Time, With Less Effort, At Less Cost, And Using Less Resources. . . So As To Make More Profits?"
It is also the years of measurable benefits derived from thinking as stated above, that makes me certain of the accuracy of the following statement: “The Best Way To Make More Money In Less Time, At Less Cost, And Using Less Resources - So As To Make More Profits - Is To Adopt And Implement Best Practice/Continuous Improvement Initiatives In All Aspects Of Your Business".
What Does “Best Practice" Mean(In Simple English)?
Best Practice is about continually striving to do better than you did the last time - in any area of endeavour you may be engaged in. It's about never resting on your oars - in other words, you understand that success is a never ending journey in the pursuit of excellence.
I like to refer to Best Practice as “Self-Development for Organisations or Businesses". This is because it is through the pursuit of best practice, that an organisation tries to arrive at reliable ways to do what it does better (i. e. continuous improvement) in a way that is sustainable, cost-effective and also ensures its products and services are delivered right first time, every time.
Do You Operate Best Practice Systems In Your Business?
Do you know just how well your business is dong now compared to 6 months ago? What about your PEOPLE - your staff, employees, team members etc? Could they do better? What are the standards against which you measure their performance? Are they the right standards? Do you know how to derive the appropriate standards or benchmarks for your employees and/or business performance?
To do it right, you will need to think through the process, examine your existing systems, and develop solutions aimed at making you better able to achieve your set goals. If you lack the necessary know-how or do not have the time to LEARN how to do it right, PLEASE endeavour to look for and engage the services of a competent specialist to help you undertake this important activity.
Signs And Symptoms Of A Business That Needs To Adopt Best Practice Systems
To get you started, I have complied a generic listing(which is definitely NOT exhaustive) of sure signs and symptoms that, if found in your business or organisation strongly suggest a need for you to adopt and implement Best Practice(Continuous Improvement and Workplace Organisation) initiatives.
1. Your employees/staff believe they do not get paid well for the amount of work and effort they put in. This reflects in their level of commitment, and the quality of work they turn out.
2. Every now and then, when things go wrong in the workplace, no one seems to have idea of how to go about resolving it. Frequently a trial and error approach is adopted, sometimes with considerable loss of money, time, resources - and even customers/clients.
3. You have certain individuals in your organisation who when they are at work seem to have a knack for making things go smoothly, but when they leave, others who work with them never seem to get things right, and things tends to go badly - sometimes too badly for the progress of the business.
4. You have some individuals who when they are on duty or in charge of certain key operations always tend to mess things up(or so it would appear).
5. Serious problems(like that described above) that have occurred, and took major effort to resolve in the past, tend to re-occur with the same devastating effects.
6. Many of your staff grumble and complain about the work, even though you've tried patiently and repeatedly to improve things, and also to make them see why things are the way they are.
7. Sometimes, key tools, items or resources crucial for ensuring work goes smoothly get misplaced and everyone gets involved in searching for them for long periods of time, before they are found in a most unexpected place. By that time, avoidable loss of paid time and output would have been incurred.
8. Easily retrievable, comprehensive and reliable records of daily operations, Key Performance Indicators and daily lost time data are not available. Your records in fact are scattered in various notebooks or other media that if you were to ask for them might take a while to locate. And even then, they would not be up-to-date.
9. You do not have benchmarks/expected standards or targets for your critical operations i. e. those which if not kept on schedule and functioning optimally, would cause big problems that could affect your organisation's ability to produce and deliver products and/or services to customers to the RIGHT quality and at the RIGHT time.
If you find even ONE of the above nine signs/symptoms occurs in any shape or form in your business operations/processes, KNOW that you NEED to do something to make them ALL go away, IF you want your business to make better progress. I offer a few suggestions in the rest of this article.
Examples Of Best Practice Concepts You Can Apply
Best Practice(BP) is really a huge field. There are all sorts of BP techniques and strategies that businesses of all sizes and types favour. The large blue-chip multinational I worked in for seven(7) years adopted a model that involved the use of many Japanese Quality Control/Improvement techniques and concepts e. g. “5S Workplace Organisation". You can choose, like I often do, to go about it using the KISS(Keep It Simple, Stupid) philosophy. Just stick to the basics. For instance the “5S" slogan is “A Place For Everything. Everything In It's Place". For “Formal Problem Solving" in the workplace, we were taught to use the “Ishikawa" (aka “Fish Bone") diagram - which was simply a sketch that allowed us to track down the MAIN contributing factor(s) - aka “Root Caus(es)" - to a problem in the workplace. This way little if anything was missed in “analysing" the problem - so that the solution arrived at tended to “work" more often(meaning we found the problem's TRUE “root cause").
How Do You Get Started?
I suggest using search tools available on the web to locate learning resources you can adapt for your purposes. For instance, to learn about “Five(5)S and Workplace Organisation" you can “google" THAT string! Same applies to “Total Productive Maintenance(TPM)" for your engineering or machine/manufacturing process related operations; Statistical Process Control(SPC) for your manufacturing or factory batch production operations etc. Next, gradually apply what you learn to relevant aspects of your business that you identified as having a need for it. It's quite simple - and many times the websites and other learning resources you find will provide step-by step guidance to help you get up and running. Then your search results should also turn up links to a few books you can purchase online on these subjects.
Regardless of the environment in which a business operates, the constant search for cost-effective improved or alternative ways of getting the desired results or products will always yield increased returns in financial and/or operational terms.
Therefore any organisation that wants to remain increasingly profitable and ahead of the competition, will need to CONTINUALLY explore best practice ways of doing whatever it does better. “Better" in the foregoing context means using LESS effort, LESS time, at LOWER cost, with FEWER resources, even as the product or service quality delivered remains constant or gets better. Start doing the necessary groundwork and research to get your business operating on best practice principles, and sooner than you expect, you'll be reaping the rewards in more ways than you can keep count of!
Read my article titled “Business Best Practice Ideas(4): Use Simple Statistics/Logical Reasoning For Performance Measurement & Process Control"
Self-Development/Performance Enhancement Specialist – Tayo Solagbade - works as a Multipreneur, helping clients creatively adopt custom Excel-VB driven Software and PC/Internet Resources to make MORE profits with LESS effort.
Visit http://www.excelheaven.spontaneousdevelopment.com to learn how you can get affordable custom MS Excel-VB driven software(which run on MS Excel 2000 and above) to automate your routine business data recording, analysis and report generation for quicker and more accurate performance evaluation and decision making.