The 1%ers approach is something I am super passionate about.
I’ve written about this before and it’s a technique that has been a game changer for me and my business. It’s also something that I have to continually bring to mind so that I don’t fall back into bad habits.
The idea around the 1%ers and how I personally use them is identifying those small tweaks and improvements to your business that, on their own often don’t seem too significant (a missed social media post here, a delayed email there) but if worked on consistently and continually can come together and create incredible results over time.
The best example of a 1%er approach in action (also called marginal gains) was the British Cycling team. Implementing this took them from a team who had never won well, really anything to going on to dominate the sport (James Clear has a great article about this which you can read here).
So why is it all about the 1%ers.
It’s not about the flashy ads, the big budgets or revolutionary ideas.
It’s about how to deliver consistently great value to clients.
It’s about looking back at what has worked well in the past and making little improvements and tweaks so that those things can work even better rather than running off and chasing the next ‘shiny object’.
It’s about taking the time to really get to know your clients and understand how what you provide makes a difference in their lives.
And it’s all about putting in place the systems and the processes to enable you to keep working on the little improvements rather than constant firefighting.
So if it’s all about the 1%ers, what could these 1%ers be in your business?
- Maybe it’s committing to consistently responding to enquiries within 24 hours
- Maybe it’s committing to sending out your email monthly (rather than the ad hoc timeframe you have now!?)
- Maybe it’s consistently chasing overdue invoices on a dedicated day so that you better manage your cash flow
- Maybe it’s consistently asking for customer feedback once a sale or project has been completed
- Maybe it’s even just committing to attending that network group that you joined more regularly?
Whatever those 1%ers are for your business. You know what I’m talking about – the little things that DO make a real difference but become a little ‘boring’ or ‘insignificant’ when faced with bigger, brighter shiny things such as grand new product launches, fancy ad campaigns or new joint ventures.
Not to say that the bigger stuff is not important, I’m a huge advocate for stretching outside of the comfort zone (as they say – reach for the stars and you just might land on the moon!) but what all too often happens is the more exciting things take precedence over those consistent smaller actions that actually often reap the biggest and most consistent rewards.
So what are your 1%ers?
There’s a worksheet below that you’re free to download that will help you determine your key 1%ers and how to make them happen.
This worksheet not only asks you to list what 1%ers would make a difference to you but also makes you think about what might get in the way of these tasks being done and what steps / mechanisms you can put in place to ensure success.
For example, one of your 1%ers might be to send out a monthly email consistently because you know the results of this is that you keep in better touch with your customers and keep your business top of their mind. However, the reason that you’re not doing this already is because you’re always too busy to sit down and write the email and then next thing you know, it’s been 3 months.
So what steps or mechanisms can you put in place to ensure that it gets done (and trust me, the key here is that you WANT it to get done and see it as enough of a priority, because no matter what good intentions, unless you believe that it’s an important and worthwhile exercise, you will always find excuses not to do it).
- Could you set aside a dedicated time in your diary for writing it? (would that be enough for you just to plan it in?)
- Do you need to leave the office and go somewhere else, free of distractions in order to concentrate on writing it?
- Could you even get someone else to write it for you?
- Etc. etc.
Go on…download the worksheet and plot in whatever 1%ers you want to be concentrating on and let me know how you get on!
Because by getting these right we set the right base for all of the future ‘shiny’ stuff! 🙂
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"Confessions of a Small Business Owner"
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Chief Brand Strategist