4 Common Sense Approaches to Improve Your Business

"There is nothing more uncommon than common sense." --Frank Lloyd Wright

If you have ever served on a jury, you quickly realized that Wright was on to something when he made the above statement.  The following are some common sense approaches adapted to improve your business.

Do the hardest thing first

Putting things off is human nature especially when it comes to difficult decisions especially in our volatile markets. However, the end result of inaction is decision making under stress. Recent studies show that crisis decision making lead to poorly focused strategies and unsustainable solutions. Known as the Briefcase rule, by tackling the hardest tasks first, you are building in time to be able to react and adapt to unforeseen challenges. This in turn reduces costly errors.

Know your end users

Understanding how your clients and customers buying decisions are critical in determine where to apply your resources to maximize your returns. With the growth of review sites such as Yelp and Amazon, customers are overwhelmingly using peer review to make purchasing decisions.  According to a study by researcher Michael Luca of the Harvard Business School this is called the influence mix.  To stay competitive organizational leaders need to follow and quantify customer reviews as well as develop strategies that proactively respond to consumer concerns while creating positive customer feedback.

Employ continuous improvement

Aristotle wrote, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Build excellence into your management and financial processes. Use nonlinear development by working on complimentary core strengths to achieve the interaction effect – where the net output of a combined activity is substantially greater than performing a single activity alone. Athletes use this technique in cross training to increase performance. Executives can do likewise by cross performing their core strengths such as innovation and driving for results.  Stretch yourself and become the innovator your business needs.

Say "Thank you"

Personalize it and share it. Use social media to make your customer wins your wins. Collaborate. Harness the power of reciprocal generosity. This encourages mutual collaboration and builds greater customer loyalty. It seems so simple but so few leaders and their organizations make it a meaningful practice. Too busy watching your bottom line? Make saying thank you a part of your bottom line and watch how the practice adds value to your organization culturally and financially as well.

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