Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference

People are still talking about the amazing Olympic successes of the Team GB cyclists both in and out of the velodrome. How did they manage to win all those medals? Chris Hoy, who won two gold medals, said it was about asking the question, how can we get better? And then coming up with answers. Head coach Dave Brailsford famously named these the 'marginal gains', because if you make lots of small or marginal changes for the better, when they are added together they make a significant difference.

Marginal Gains for your Business

Why not apply this to your business? Take for example the number of phone calls you make to chase business. This is not something most of us enjoy doing but it usually needs to be done, if not every day or week, at least from time to time. So you set goals. This week you decide to make 9 calls and are elated when three of them pay off. That's a third of your calls. If you'd got the same percentage when your goal was 12 calls, you'd have had one more customer or warm contact to deal with. So you could get better results if your goal had been higher. Make that a weekly occurrence and you'll see significant growth.

Saving Time and Effort

There are all sorts of ways you can save time as well, if you think about it. You could get better at being at your desk earlier if you set the alarm 10 minutes earlier. You could devise a system for getting through your paperwork faster or filing it away so that you can find it quickly. Are these the kind of jobs you just can't find time for? Make a resolve to give them half an hour a day until they are done. Shorten your lunch break on three days a week and use the extra time to your advantage. If you can afford it, pay for some extra help. You should recoup that amount and more before long. Think what you can achieve in all the time you have saved.

Getting Help from your Bookkeepers

The same principle could be applied to chasing late payments. You decide you'll make that phone call next week, but it's Thursday before you even think about it, and Friday before you pick up the phone. That's a week longer to wait for that payment to come in. You can often get help for this sort of thing from your outsourced bookkeepers. Many offer assistance with credit control, employer and tax returns, and office management as well as keeping your accounts in order.
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