Before you start looking for ways to improve your business, look for the things that are harming your business. Fix those first.

Example? Sure.

One bad apple in your customer service department can do a lot of damage. You’re not going to “train” someone to provide great service who hates your customers. Get rid of that person. Come on! Take advantage of the recession and make an intelligent, justified cut. Sally, business is slow and we don’t need you to help keep the flow of new business down to a comfortable level. We’re there. Good-bye.

You can only improve performance of people who:
1. See the need for improvement
2. Are willing to change for the sake of improvement

Unwillingness to change is always harmful. Always. Whenever you spot strong resistance to change or improvement, deal with it immediately. If you don’t, it will spread like a cancer.

I generally side with labor. I believe most of the American business base is poorly managed by short-sighted, greed driven morons. But when I see negative attitude toward improvement, I say cut. That goes for management too.

Chris Reich, Author of TeachU’s Business Talk Blog
[email protected]