Start. Stop. Keep. A Simple Exercise for Business Improvement.
Feeling like your business can be better? Are you looking for more sales, better customers, increased profitability, improved efficiencies.....? Are you unsure where to begin? There are intensive processes and methods for developing business strategies and executing on those plans. However, there are some simple techniques that may provide a jumpstart in training your team in thinking more strategically and effectively.
Consider performing a Start Stop Keep exercise. If you are a solo entrepreneur, freelancer, etc., consider involving a close business associate, a coach, or mentor. Ask three questions and list the responses for each. Think about you, your team, family, customers, processes, etc, that would be affected.
- Question 1: What should I (we) START doing?
- Question 2: What should I (we) STOP doing?
- Question 3: What should I (we) KEEP doing?
In a session with your team, visibly list your responses (actions) to each of the above questions. Think of how each could affect your business favorably. What areas are negatively affecting business outcomes? After developing a list of Starts, Stops, and Keeps, discuss which have the most impact if implemented today, and how difficult it would be to implement. Chart these items in four quadrants on an X / Y axis using the following criteria: Low / High Impact and Easy / Hard Implementation. Consider the following four quadrant classifications:
- High Impact - Easy to Implement: Immediate action item. High priority.
- High Impact - Hard to Implement: This is a challenge item requiring focus and dedication. Team support is key.
- Low Impact - Easy to Implement: Possible action item.
- Low Impact - Hard to Implememt: Fuhgettaboutit. Squash this. Not worth it.
From your list of Start Start Keeps and charted action items, you have now identified your current action items and tasks. Work with your team on these action items: who is responsible, what is to be accomplished, and when is it due. We recommend Asana as a project and task system for team collaboration. A system like Asana helps the team to take responsibility and execute on tasks/priorities.
Get started. What can you change today that will bring about the best results? Execution is key. Your accounting partners are here to help. We all need that coach, advisor, someone to guide us and give a push when needed.