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1% Improvement each day

Let’s face it running a small business is no walk in the park. It requires dedication, hard work, and constant challenges. 

Small business owners are often under pressure to continuously make improvements to their business operations. Whether that is to increase their profit margins, increase their cashflow, find new customers or even improve their services to customers.

However, the idea of making drastic changes can be daunting and overwhelming.  

But what if there was a way to gradually make improvements, one step at a time, that could lead to significant progress over time? This is where the concept of the 1% improvement per day comes in.  

How did this theory come about. 

Well, back in 2002 Dave Brailsford was appointed performance director of British Cycling after the Great Britain professional cycling team had endured almost a century of poor performance. 

It was rumoured at the time that when Brailsford took over that one of the major bike manufacturers in Europe had refused to sell their bikes to the team for fear that their sales would be impacted by being connected to British Cycling. 

Brailsford believed that continuous improvement of just 1% each day when combined would have significant results. And it did. 

Between 2007 and 2017 there were 66 Olympic medals, 5 Tour de France winners and in 2012 the British Cycling team set nine Olympic records and seven world records after winning 60% of the gold medals available in the 2008 Olympics. 

Brailsford didn’t just look at how to improve performance through what you might expect such as redesigning the bike seat, working on the athlete’s nutrition or monitoring their training.  

He also looked at everything that impacted the athletes. Like the best pillows to get a good night sleep, teaching them hand sanitation from a surgeon to minimise infections and the best gels for massages. 

Thinking outside the box as I would say. 

But of course, Brailsford’s theory became widely known in the business world when James Clear bought it to life in his book Atomic Habits. 

If you haven’t read this book add it to your must-read list. It is amazing. 

But let’s have a look why this method can be so powerful and how you as a small business owner can incorporate it into your daily operations. 

The 1% improvement per day concept is based on the belief that small, incremental changes can add up to significant progress over time. It may seem like a small step, but these daily actions can translate into significant changes over time. 

For small business owners, this could mean making small improvements to their processes, customer service, or products every day. It may not seem like much at first, but over time, these improvements can result in massive changes for the business. 

One way to implement the 1% improvement per day concept is to focus on one area of your business that you want to improve.  

This could be anything from reducing waste to improving customer satisfaction or increasing your business revenue. Then, make a list of small actions that you can take each day to move towards your goal. For example, if you are able to improve your sales processes by 1% each day, this can lead to an increase in revenue as your sales improve. What’s more, focusing on incremental improvements can give you and your team the motivation to achieve big goals without becoming overwhelmed. 

Another way to incorporate the 1% improvement per day concept is to empower your employees to make small changes. Encouraging your staff to make small adjustments to their work or to suggest improvements which can lead to a continuous flow of improvements. This can create a culture of innovation and continuous improvement that can be a powerful driver for success in a small business. 

One of the key benefits of the 1% improvement approach is that it’s an achievable goal. Start with assessing areas of your business that need improvement. Identify specific actions that can be taken every day to work towards improvement. Set clear objectives, track your progress, reward yourself and your employees, and be consistent in your efforts. 

Measuring success through progress is one of the beauties of the 1% improvement approach, in that it’s easy to track progress. At the end of each day, measure and record your progress. You can do this by looking at analytics, customer feedback, employee morale, and other key indicators. Tracking your progress will help gain insight into what works and what doesn’t, and make adjustments where needed. 

It is important to note that the 1% improvement per day concept is not just about making small, meaningless changes. It is about focusing on concrete actions that will lead to real improvements in your business. It is also important to track your progress and celebrate your successes along the way. By keeping track of the changes you have made and acknowledging your successes, you can stay motivated to continue making improvements. 

Many small business owners often feel overwhelmed by the idea of making significant improvements to their operations. However, the concept of the 1% improvement per day can be a powerful tool for making meaningful changes over time.  

By focusing on small, concrete actions each day, small business owners can create a culture of continuous improvement that can lead to significant progress in their business. Small changes can add up to big results.  

So, if you are a small business owner looking for a way to improve your business, remember that the power of the 1% improvement per day can take you a long way.