Good things come to those who wait.
Often times, this is absolutely the case. Patience is, indeed, a virtue.
But when it comes to your business, you might be surprised at just how much more important it is to be quick than it is to be perfect.
What is ‘perfect’, though? It’s losing precious time ensuring every detail down to the minutiae of your plan or proposal is totally, incontrovertibly, 100% accurate — even when they don’t really need to be at this stage.
So how can you make sure you’re optimising for accuracy whilst ploughing on for that all-important speedy turnaround?
An ever-changing business landscape
We all — your clients included — inhabit a society that demands instant gratification, immediate and clear results and lightning-fast response rates. Rightly or wrongly, then, satisfying your client’s need to perceive a quick response should generally be your top priority. Let them see just how efficient you are — then sweat the small stuff once they’re happy you’re on the case.
It’s not uncommon for companies to evolve and adapt to their business surroundings until they find the optimum approach — but then stop. The problem is, of course, the world doesn’t cease to grow just because the company has. In a world of instant and accessible technological updates in every facet of our lives, getting — and staying — on top of the game is everything. If a business becomes resistant to change — change which is, of course, inevitable— it runs the very real risk of becoming obsolete and, in our evolution analogy, going extinct.
The businesses who ride the waves and remain relevant over many years, even decades, are those who not only identify the right approaches but who then adjust them accordingly when technology, priorities and demand grow in conjunction with the values and wants of the society in which they exist. The very best businesses do all of the above — and fast. They don’t deny change; they see it coming a mile off and charge headfirst into the fray.
Reevaluate what’s important
Your clients want quality. That’s a given. But in this day and age, it’s not enough. Customers desire — no, expect— pace. Their expectations are as turbulent and nebulous as the business landscape you’re both operating in — and you must account for this.
What’s your priority? Getting every one of the finest details ironed out, checked, rechecked and checked again and then put on the back-burner until the team are ‘ready’ to move forward with one project? Or is it better to prioritise speed and to have faith in yourself and your team that you’re all talented enough to move ahead with ten projects whilst they’re still not entirely complete, then see some serious turnover as a result?
If you don’t satiate your customers’ need for speed, you’ll lose them. Every time you can produce results faster than your competition, you fortify your position as the best in the business, even regardless of the objective comparison in quality between the two of you.
Take Walmart’s business model, which focuses on efficiency above all else. This allows them to deliver the best products at the most affordable prices. That’s not to say that accuracy and quality aren’t extremely important to the US multinational, only that they’ve identified that a fast turnaround has been proven, time and again, to be their most advantageous asset in their competition with other retail corporations.
How to speed things up — without neglecting quality
It takes time to remain current with the latest innovations in technology — but you simply can’t put a price on how invaluable doing so will be in the long run. Take my own company, digital agency Push, of which I’ve been co-CEO with Steve Hyde for over a decade. We have known for a long time that speed is our greatest asset. But don’t just take my word for it! According to Helene Ambiana, head of Google partners EMEA,
Push is a great mobile-first company, who use great tech, great people and innovation at speed to do the right and ethical thing for the customer. Push epitomizes a mindset that is essential in today’s digital advertising industry.
Every week, without exception, Push hold employee training to ensure that our staff are entirely cognizant of the latest updates in the digital realm and that their skills in utilising these innovations are razor-sharp.
Speeding up your processes doesn’t necessitate you losing quality. You can streamline your decision-making as you go. It doesn’t have to be flawless first time around. Don’t be afraid of getting it wrong, just move with the tide and keep on growing!
The best businesses aren’t floored by their mistakes, and they make no mistake in knowing their flaws. Embracing speed and all of its benefits takes time, but a culture of fast turnarounds can grow organically — if you let it. Go with the flow and witness the pace of your entire organization change dramatically. It won’t be long before you gain that competitive edge — and increase your market share faster than ever before.
As seen in The Drum