Jamie McCabe, president of McCabe Promotional Advertising, once said that sharing best practices “takes some of the mystery out of running a successful company.”
That got me thinking.
How many times have I faced a challenge and wondered how my peers in the industry were dealing with it? Or solved a particular problem? Or had a particular success? Would my peers want to learn from my mistakes and successes?
According to Business Link, best practice means finding - and using - the best ways of working to achieve your business objectives. It involves keeping up to date with the ways that successful businesses operate (in your sector and others) and measuring your ways of working against those used by the market leaders, which is also know as benchmarking.
So Jamie is right. There are many unknowns or mysteries to running a business, and understanding best practices can give you a big edge.
By being able to interact openly and candidly with our peers, we can share valuable knowledge and insights to improve all of our businesses. Just as the old saying goes, “learn from other people’s mistakes”; we can also learn from each other’s successes.
There are volumes of business articles and books written about “best practices” and benchmarking. In fact, the Harvard Business Review published an article on the “Best Practices for Sharing Best Practices!”
It doesn’t need to be that complicated.
There are many formal and informal means and venues for promotional products distributors to share best practices including trade shows, industry associations, trade publications and peer networking. We can share on LinkedIn forums. Tune in to a Webinar. Or simply have a beer with a fellow owner at a trade show.
What’s important is that we take the time to share our insights and glean those of others.
Sharing best practices can help us in many ways:
Make us more competitive by helping us conduct our businesses better than our competition.
Help us increase sales by using field-proven ways to improve processes, programs and management capabilities.
Help us cut costs and improve efficiencies by using better technologies – and using them more effectively.
Improve hiring, retention and workforce skills by knowing what it takes to create more progressive and accountable work environments.
Improve relations with suppliers by leveraging peer relationships.
Respond more quickly to industry innovations by staying on top of developments.
Respond more effectively to economic and other threats by understanding the issues and best ways to mitigate them.
Take Jamie McCabe for example (if you’ll indulge my overt plug for Facilisgroup). He was first attracted to Facilis for its technology, the promotional industry software we provide. After attending his first Facilisgroup Partner Summit, he realized that the partner “community” of promotional products distributors provided him with immeasurable additional value in terms of sharing information, insights, benchmarks and best practices. I think he has nailed it. No man is an island. Somewhere, someone is doing something differently and getting a better result.
Let’s share it!