In 2012, British Cycling wiped for floor in the London Olympics. Those were the salad days before the recent doping controversies kicked in, and according to their coach at the time, Dave Brailsford, they owed it all to marginal gains.
British Cycling’s approach to Marginal Gains was to apply the concept of searching for small improvements (just 1%), in every aspect of what it took to arrive at the Olympic Games ready to compete. From training techniques, to the thread count on their sheets and especially in the areas that the competition was not paying attention to. The overall effect was to provide a winning edge. Whether or not you believe it made the difference for Team GB, it appears to be an approach that can successfully be applied to your business.
Now, we’re not suggesting you bring your special pillow with you on every business trip so you get the best sleep. Not even that you take your personal coffee machine into meetings so you have the ultimate coffee to sip while you exchange business cards (although, you know, we never judge)! However, applying the rule of at least 1% improvement in small aspects of the way your run your business, can result in headway by stealth.
Making Marginal Gains in some of these key areas can free up much needed time:
Automating Routine Tasks
Entering client information, data entry etc. Are you wasting time, entering and even worse, re-entering details manually?
Streamlining your processes so they can be delegated –
Are you, or key staff members, creating a bottleneck in your business?
Clear communication with clients and employees.
Do the former really know what you are doing for them and how they can help to keep things rolling smoothly? Do the latter really know what the processes are and where to find the information they need, without reinventing the wheel every time?
Every Business is different.
While some time-eaters are universal, some are unique to your business. What are your hungriest time-eaters? Identifying them is part of the task, and sometimes you need objective eyes to detect them.
Let’s make some Marginal Gains
One of the easiest ways to get results streamlining your business is to switch to an integrated software, like Xero, that will give you a picture of your business’s financial health at a glance. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Sitting down with your accountant to go through your budgets, forecasts and goals to find the soft spots will be the crucial step, helping you to focus on your goals and what you really have to do to get there.
But as ever, if you have any questions, just contact us. We’re always ready to help, and that’s one area we won’t be making any marginal gains on.