I sometimes talk to business owners or managers who seem perfectly happy with how well their business is performing and are happy with their lot in life. To be fair, those conversations do not happen particularly frequently but when they do I find myself being both happy for them and envious that I have yet to achieve the equivalent happy place in my life. 

For most of us, it seems life is a constant battle to at least maintain the performance of our businesses, or ideally to improve (however we choose to measure “improvement”) the performance of our businesses.

The key to doing this isn’t necessarily rocket science. In fact, most people would agree that the business performance improvement process broadly consists of five key stages:

  1. Assess the current performance of your business (= Work out where you are now)
  2. Set your business goals and objectives (= Decide where you want to be)
  3. Create a performance improvement action plan (= Chart a course from where you are now to where you want to be)
  4. Implement your action plan (= The journey!)
  5. Monitor progress and take corrective action (= Check where you are from time-to-time and make sure you’re still “on-track”)

1. Assess the current performance of your business

If you are setting out on a journey then you know where your’re starting out from and what the possibilities are for where you might go. If you think of improving your business performance as a journey then it should make sense that you need to know where you are starting out from and have an idea about where you might want to go. That means assessing the current performance of your business and getting a better understanding of the potential performance of your business.

Establish performance indicators

Benchmarking

SWOT

Market research / trend analysis

2. Set your business goals and objectives

To continue the journey analogy, it’s all well and good knowing where you are starting out from, but you really need where you need to get to. That means setting a clear set of goals.

Set SMART goals

Set targets for your key performance indicators.

3. Create a performance improvement action plan

  • Things you want to do better
  • Things you want to do more of
  • Things you want to do less of (or stop doing altogether)
  • Things you want to do differently
  • Different things you want to do

Gap analysis
Mini-projects
Skills analysis

Establish resources needed

Add performance indicators

4. Implement your action plan

Action plans are useless if you don’t implement them! It is relatively easy to create an action plan, and then somehow assume that it will be implemented. You need to set milestones.

5. Monitor progress and take corrective action

Monitor performance indicators
Monitor action plan progress
Adjust action plans


Would you like me to help you improve your business performance?