How to Improve Consistency In Your Business
One major factor resulting in the staying power of the world’s most stable companies is consistency. Take any S&P 500 blue chip company and you can narrow down their success to a few products that have been perfected and consistently delivered over and over again. Their success is tied to the fact that they consistently deliver to the consumer and therefore build trust with them.
Trust = Consistency Currency
Whether you are a B2B or a B2C company you have an end consumer that expects a great product every time. It’s that underlying trust that keeps them coming back. They know exactly what they will get from you whether it’s a burger and fries, maintenance, snow removal, stocking the vending machine…etc.
It’s that invisible currency of trust that creates repeat customers and it’s created through the power of consistency!
This currency is spent quickly if you deliver inconsistent service. I’ve seen it firsthand in the foodservice industry. As the CEO of PFSbrands, one of our subsidiaries is the nationwide foodservice program Champs Chicken®, I know that consistency can make or break your business.
We’ve all been there. You visited a new QSR and the experience was great! You absolutely loved it and even recommended it to your friends. Of course you have to go back. This time the service is lousy, the food is cold, and you never received a refill… overall it was terrible. What’s worse is that you put your reputation on the line by recommending it to your friends. You’re definitely not going back…
Inconsistent service, food prep, cleanliness…etc. quickly turned you from a raving fan into a detractor. In one fell swoop, inconsistency eroded that fragile underlying trust that was previously built and cost that business considerable recurring revenue. As politician Roy T. Bennett said, “Consistency is the true foundation of trust. Either keep your promises or do not make them.” Clearly, promises were broken in this hypothetical instance.
This whole scenario can be a nightmare for any business owner. That’s why our programs include robust training procedures and multiple levels of support to ensure we’re delivering a consistent product. That’s great for us, but how can you start putting the processes in place for a more consistent business? Check out this 4 step plan for instilling the power of consistency in your business or life.
4 Ways to Harness the Power of Consistency
1. Clear, Communicated Vision
How can you be consistent without knowing what you stand for? You need a clearly laid out mission statement and you need to identify a strength that you can be the best in the market at (eventually). This allows you to continually focus on what’s most important at all times instead of making knee-jerk decisions when things get rocky. It allows you to weather the storm and still come out being true to your brand. On top of that, this needs to be communicated to the ENTIRE team in an easy to understand manner that they can get behind.
2. Focused Discipline
Obviously, you can’t harness the power of consistency if you aren’t focusing on your overall core mission while having the discipline to stick to it. This will help you overcome the “bright-light syndrome” where everything that comes across your desk looks like a viable business option, causing you to stray from your mission. Focused discipline should drive your thought process and help you make consistent business decisions.
Plus, having a focused discipline works two-fold. It also helps you during the hiring process. Instead of just hiring the first person that comes through your door, you have to be disciplined enough to find someone who fits your mission (and core values). This will help you hold them accountable to work towards that overall goal (more on that later).
3. Measure Your Progress
Results, results, results… That’s what it’s all about. Ask anyone on my team, I always like to quote Henry Ford who famously said, “Nothing happens until someone sales something!” Sales = Revenue. No matter what you’re selling you need to be as efficient as possible in your efforts. So you need to track those efforts. By following your core mission you can start to track your progress in terms of sales, revenue, Earnings Before Taxes (EBT)…etc. This will help you determine which efforts aren’t working or which ones you need to double down on.
Measuring and tracking your progress also allows you to hold your employees accountable. Start by having each employee determine some Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that they track daily, weekly, or monthly to help them understand how they are driving business. Basically, they need to be able to look at their KPIs at the end of the day and quickly know if it was a success. If everyone has a number (KPI) then they are able to know if they won or lost on any given day, week, month, or year. It’s not about creating a culture of fear, instead it’s about creating a winning culture of continual improvement.
Finally, if you are going to reach your overall goal, it will take patience and trust in the process. Patience allows you to effectively and accurately measure your progress while giving you the time to be disciplined in your decision making. You need to have the patience and understanding to know that if you just started a business, you can’t expect success in 3 months. Success requires the courage to have the patience to see your goals through. Patience pays off.
The Power of Consistency
The power of consistency is what makes or breaks your business in the long run. It’s creates that underlying trust that keeps your customers coming back and it creates truly great companies. You need the fortitude to forge a mission statement and see it through over the long haul. Yes, long haul. It takes time and consistency to grow a brand and a business. It doesn’t happen overnight, trust in the process and your overall goals. As Jim Rohn once said,
Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.
Copyright © 2018 Shawn Burcham. All Rights Reserved.