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How to establish best practices in business

You've already asked yourself, "How do I start my own business?" and now you need to ask yourself, "How do I ensure that business runs smoothly?". Best practice can help here. Best business plans need to be backed up by best practice plans and this article looks at some of the things you can do to ensure best practice runs well in your company.

What is best practice?

Best practice means actively finding new and innovative ways to improve your business in a variety of areas. You need to ensure that you are keeping up to date with what your competitors are doing and making sure that staff are happy and working efficiently. Best practice involves keeping an eye on all of the little day to day running events that keep your business in action. There are even some business blogs set up for best practice. So why not search them for ideas about how to establish best practice in your industry.

Best practice through benchmarking

Benchmarking means keeping up with what other businesses are doing in your industry or sector and measuring your own company's performance up against it. This is good for highlighting areas in which your business could improve to compete with others who are leading the way in that particular area. For example, if you are a book selling company and you offer delivery at £1.50, but your closest competitor who sells the same books as you offers them for free delivery, then you are less competitive because people will not pay for delivery if they can get the same book delivered free from elsewhere. From this benchmarking exercise, you could decide to offer free delivery too and increase your competitiveness.

Best practice through standards

Organisations like the British Standards Institution set benchmarking standards that fix which companies can sign up to and meet in order to increase their credibility in the public eye. There are management standards which focus on building best organisations and personal standards and there are technical standards which relate to how services and products are delivered. Find out more by contacting the BSI directly.

Benefits of best practice

- You can become more competitive
- You can save your company money
- You can be more flexible for client needs
- You can improve the skills of your workforce
- You can improve employee satisfaction
- You can become more efficient
- You can increase sales and develop new markets
- You can attract investment

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