Don't Ignore The Pain Points In Your Business, That Is Where Innovation Happens

The definition of innovation is the improvement of an existing method or process. Businesses innovate when they fix things that are not working.
United States Real Estate and Construction
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The definition of innovation is the improvement of an existing method or process. Businesses innovate when they fix things that are not working. Unfortunately, this means if you want continued innovation in your business, it only comes from pain, realizing where the pain is, and really digging in and fixing the issues. Most businesses have lots of issues that need to be fixed so where do you begin?

Starting with the Numbers

The first issue every business needs to address is the numbers, to stay in business, you must make money. Just because you are busy does not mean you are making money. For construction companies, this looks like correct job costing: what is each job actually costing you, and how much does your markup need to be to cover all your expenses and still have a profit at the end? You cannot stay in business if you are not making money. Creating a system to know if you are making money and checking it frequently to make sure you are staying on course or if you need to course correct before it's too late, is essential to staying in business. In my business, I look at reports daily to make sure we are where we need to be and if we are not, I can put actions in place to correct any money issues. There are tons of books and coaches out there that can help you create a system specifically for your business that will show you how to make money, it is well worth the investment.

Addressing Operations and Systems

After you have the numbers nailed down usually the next big pain point is the operations of the business. Businesses have a lot of different parts required to create the end product. To ensure consistent and excellent product systems and processes are necessary. This means there needs to be a written process for everything that the business does. The thought of this task has most business owners feeling overwhelmed and unmotivated.

Most business owners would rather bury themselves in the "fires" of the business than deal with the root issues by creating systems and processes. I know that this was my reaction when my business was falling apart because of high turnover and things being done incorrectly. I was putting out fire after fire of clients who were unhappy because the people they were dealing with kept changing, and things were being done incorrectly. When I dove in and really looked at the issues people kept leaving because expectations were not clear and things were not correct because there were no instructions, but the thought of creating systems and processes had me frozen, I did not even know where to start. I tried having other people create the systems and processes, but that was a complete failure because they had no idea how I wanted things done.

I finally decided that the project of creating systems and processes needed to become my main focus if things were going to improve. So, I dug in, read some books, and took an online course and I began little by little creating my processes. Within 60 days I had my first draft, and although not perfect or complete, we started using the processes. Almost immediately things began to improve, people were staying, and things were being done correctly. The processes needed continuous updates at first, but the effects were amazing. If you want to innovate your business, create systems and processes again. There are books and coaches that can help you get this done and it is well worth the investment.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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