The key to exceptional business results is consistency. If you do nothing else, be consistent. Consistency doesn’t mean being the best at something or providing the highest quality, it means providing predictable, reliable results to the customer or client every time you do business with them. Consistency creates the reputation that your business will be built on. Without consistency, you will constantly be learning from mistakes that you cannot afford to make and customers will leave you without giving you any indication as to why.
Michael Gerber developed the E-Myth management systems which states in order to run a successful business you really need to focus on the systems within that business. By creating or improving existing systems within your business you can provide a better product/service and also provide consistency to the customer. The objective is that each time a customer comes to your business they will get the same great service or product, which makes them feel like they are in control of the relationship.
Consistency is what franchises are built around. McDonalds pioneered and embodies this idea. When you walk into a McDonalds anywhere in the world, you know exactly what you are going to get when you order a quarter pounder, right down to the exact ingredients, quantities, and order of toppings.
- Focus on what's important (as opposed to what's urgent).
- Clearly identify the elements that make up consistency in your business. i.e. quality of the fries, service times, etc.
- Develop procedures that will give you consistent results i.e. create processes, protocols and standards.
- Have specific, measurable goals and communicate them to your entire team. For example, reduce defects below 1%.
- Make quality hiring a priority, and hold employees accountable.