Most business owners look for best practices in a variety of topics to help them create a good business and to enhance their business practices. But, after weeding through all of the best practices, what should a business owner really look for, take as good advice, and what should he or she do with all of the information?
Not all information is for every business.
Best practices come from what a business has tried and found to be successful, but the idea or solution won’t work in every situation or with every business. Be on the lookout for best practices that come from companies that are 1) in your industry and 2) are like the type of company that you want your company to be like.
Look for and at everything.
You may be looking for specific advice to tackle a specific issue in your business, but don’t overlook the litany of other information that is out there. You may be having an issue in your company that you don’t even know about, or maybe you accidentally come across a great idea that you believe could work for your business. Reading (with an open mind) can help you find information you didn’t know you needed or wanted.
Be careful to do your research.
While there is a lot of advice, information, and best practices out there, be sure you do your own research on the topic as well. For example, of someone recommends a specific program to help solve a specific need, research:
- The company offering the advice – did it really solve the issue(s) they say it did?
- The company offering the service – what is their track record, what are the costs, etc.?
- Competing businesses / competing quotes – check to see if the recommended company is in-line with the competition with software, pricing, terms, etc.
Company cultures are different.
When looking at best practices, depending on the type of best practices you are seeking, look at the culture of the company you are taking this advice from. Do they have a similar culture to your company? Do they have the type of culture that you want your company to have?
It is better to adapt rather than adopt.
Since best practices are things that companies have tried that they have found to be successful, look at the information and advice as just that – advice and information. When you find something that you believe should be implemented in your company, take a good look at how, when, where, and why it should be implemented. Then, look at how you can adapt the information or advice to your business – tailor the approach to suite your needs, your company’s needs, and to be the most effective based on your business and culture. You know your employees best – adapt the strategy in a way that will be most appealing and effective to them.
Share, share, share.
When you have found something that works for you, please do share! Share within your organization, within your industry, to friends and family, and acquaintances. Your best practice may just spark an idea for someone else and may help them become successful, too.