Monday, January 21, 2013

Using the Scientific Method to Better your Business


Through the scientific method:  ideas are created, observed, and postulated resulting in a theory or set of theories to test potential results.  These results are then refined, adjusted, or revised to show advancement in thought.  Unlike the scientific method though, I have encountered a lot of projects in business that were stymied by the end result being recognized as the end of the project.  This limits the possibilities for any business to better serve their customers.

Rather than looking at a project as an end goal, look at it as a task to continuously work on.  For example, if you are a restaurant owner, this might mean not only taking into consideration just how clean a restroom is but also to make sure that the hand soap doesn’t smell chemically or that paper towels don’t leave a bad odor on your hands.  Over time, you might also consider a forced air hand dryer to be environmentally conscientious or perhaps adding hand lotion.

Any business can can fortify healthy business strategies by taking lead from the scientific method.  This doesn't necessarily mean hiring a research and development team, but it does mean pursuing continuous improvement as a best management practice.  Here are some big picture considerations that you may be already be practicing and just need to revise and revamp:
  • One and five year Business Plan updating cycles - with technology taken into consideration alone, updates are inevitable. Business Plans in your head are just good ideas waiting to be forgotten
  • Twice yearly staff reviews - you may already have a system in place for staff reviews, if not just through impromptu conversation, but when was the last time you reviewed your own actions?
  • Weekly or Monthly Staff Meetings - by staff, I mean that all staff (from ownership and management through reception and part-timers) should be part of this meeting Everyone should feel that their thoughts and opinions matter.
  • Customer surveyswhether it's a casual conversation or an emailed survey, consistent surveys throughout the year to evaluate your customers' wants and needs will help to secure success