Using Standards to Grow Your Business

Excellent companies have excellent standards.

What are yours?

How do your people know when they have performed a task well, mediocre or lousy?

How do you demonstrate the competence of your business to new markets?

Every company has standards. Some┬ádon’t know it, but they do exist. To achieve growth we need to use standards intelligently, not only to raise┬áthe bar, but to attract new business or investment.

I like to classify standards in 2 ways; they can be either imposed on us by profession or industry, or, created internally by ourselves.

  • Internal standards indicate a level of competence in what we do. We need internal standards to define what is expected by us and our customers. They provide a mechanism for us to benchmark ourselves and to make improvements based on fact.
  • External standards are those which as a business, we need to meet in order to have any respect in our industry. They may be product or service standards, and they may be standards created by industry. They could also be ‘award’ schemes. We must meet these standards so that we can demonstrate the capabilities of our business.

Put simply, I believe that standards exist for a reason – to filter out the average from the astounding. You need to be astounding.

  1. Get under the skin of your customers and find out the extent to which you satisfy them. Define how you can be better.
  2. Look at the marketplace, the industry you are in, and the opportunities you have (new contracts, tenders and bids, etc). Define the standards needed to win these opportunities.
  3. Implement
  4. Monitor and improve

How are you keeping ahead of your competition? How do you demonstrate the capabilities of your business?

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