Business optimization is not a one time thing.
Business optimization is not about looking at the numbers (though that is part of it) and squeezing every last penny out of your business.
It is an ongoing process; a journey with a destination far in the future.
Effective business optimization is a continuous cycle (not a rigid order):
- Strategy – where you want to go,
- Planning – how you plan to get there,
- Communicate – involve the team in the discussion,
- Goals and measurements – to determine if you got there,
- Orchestration – what are your processes,
- Innovation – big changes and leaps, creativity,
- Improvement – incremental
- Measure and Validate – prove your changes made things better.
Seth Godin mentioned today that you can be too focused on very small things (saving pennies) instead of the things that really make a difference.
I agree, going for that last few percentage points of improvement can consume an infinite (at least more than you have) amount of time and defocus you from the real goal.
Innovation is what makes you great; indispensable to your customers.
That is how you effectively optimize your business.