The Importance of Consistency
What is it that makes you consistent?
It’s the things you do, the way your view things, the approach you take and the responses you give.
Recently on holiday, I visited a maze. I entered the maze with a group of people and we came to a fork in the road. Which way to turn? We were all trying to get to the centre of the maze but there were no directions, so we had to guess how to get there.
I chose to go right. The people who had entered the maze beside me went left. I weaved around for a while and there was no one else on the path I was following, so I began to worry it was not the right way to my destination. I took a left turn and after a while came to a dead end… I had to go back. I walked for a while turning this way and that, then ran into the group I had entered the maze with – a few turns later and we all reached the centre.
Navigating through the maze made me think about business. We had all entered the maze with the same objective but all had different experiences because we hadn’t followed a defined path.
What paths do you have set out in your business based on the way you want things to flow? These things can be customers, sales, purchases, emails, financial receipts or internal processes.
The paths you lay out in your business are the systems and processes that things go through to get an outcome. One of the things people often say to me when talking about their business is:
“I really need some systems in my business”.
The truth is they already have systems, and in some cases they even have multiple systems for handling the same thing.
If someone asks the best way of doing something – be it organising their filing system or paying their bills – my first response is to start by being consistent. Do it all the same way. This means pick a way of filing your information and stick to it. You might choose to file information by date, client name, event or product name, there are lots of different options and the one you chose will depend on what your needs and outcomes are.
If you are just starting out and are creating your system from scratch, ask yourself these key questions:
- Why am I doing this?
- What’s my outcome for this system? How do I want this to work?
- Who else will need to look at this information? For example, your staff, your accountant?
- What other systems/processes might need to access information and/or interface with this system?
Spend some time this week looking at the way you do things in your business and consider what changes you might need to your systems to make your business flow smoothly.
Manager, Corporate Support Services.