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Marginal gains in business

‘Marginal gains’ became well-known terminology after Dave Brailsford – of British Cycling – implemented this innovative concept with huge success.

His idea was that if you broke down everything you could think of that goes into riding a bike, and then improved each component part by 1%, then a significant increase would be achieved overall.

This concept is now widely incorporated in sports training of all different disciplines, but could it also be applied elsewhere…such as to your business?

How to apply marginal gains to your business:

Start by identifying the different areas of what you do. This might involve listing departments, and then drilling down into the processes within those departments. The result should be a long list – and will be different for each business. This alone is an interesting task and can increase appreciation for the varied things that make up your business (whether you’re a sole trader or have 100+ employees).

Next, spend some time thinking about the gap between current performance and your goals. SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-limited) are a great way of working out tangible measures. Remember, you’re only aiming for small improvements across lots of different areas – so they should all be easily manageable.

Finally, make a plan/list of how to make those small improvements and then get started! Using KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and regular reports will help you to monitor progress and continually refine and tweak your plan as you move towards achieving your goals.

Remember: concentrate on making many 1% improvements (which are easy to implement/should cause minimal upheaval), and you’ll find the compound effect is huge.

Please ask for my help if you’d like to implement marginal gains as part of your business growth strategy

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