Why Repetition Deserves More Respect
If you are like most entrepreneurs, you are a quick thinker. You like the new shiny penny and you love the revolutionary idea.
It is a natural part of your personality that you don’t respect repetition as a business tool as much as you should.
You see it as boring, a time waster.
Isn’t saying or doing something once enough? Isn’t demonstrating a new skill or process once to your staff sufficient?
It turns out that it is not. Sharing vital information with both your staff and your customers just once is never enough.
There are many reasons for this.
A major one is that people have a lot on their minds these days, and so many urgent things compete for their attention. Remembering you, your values, your service or product, and how you can help them just isn’t on the top of their list. It ranks miles behind finishing what’s on their desk right now and picking up the kids at daycare at the appointed time.
It is always a mistake to assume that because you told a customer something once that they will remember it each time. They won’t.
You need to find new and effective ways to repeat your message and offerings over and over again.
You need to tell your staff about the processes you want followed again and again until it is their second nature. You need to tell your sales team about your products and services so often that they remember it unconsciously and in different contexts when they are meeting with clients. And you need to tell your clients about your business in a variety of different avenues, from verbally to written to audio to visual and all combinations in between. You have to assume that sometimes they are not listening at all, sometimes they are half-listening, and rarely are they truly listening.
Repeat, repeat, repeat.
What does this mean for you as a business owner? Do you have to repeat things for yourself as well as for everyone else.
It turns out that you do.
Remember that each time you do something, it falls into one of two categories.
- It is something that you have done before, or
- It is something that you are doing for the first time.
If you have done something before, there are still more categories. Is it something that you have done often before, or something that you have done rarely before?
If you haven’t done it before, there are also more categories. Is the task something that you will do once and likely never do again, or will it be an action that once learned, will be repeated?
A big part of being effective with your time, knowledge and energy, is managing these different types of actions and deciding which ones you should perform only once, which ones you should do many times, and which ones you should not be doing at all.
Repetition of tasks is vital to keeping your business on track. It is the cornerstone of all business dating as far back as when Adam Smith defined which tasks we do repetitively and which ones we do rarely. He called it the “division of labor.”
If you need to do a task repetitively, you need to find processes that make it as simple as possible and accomplished as quickly as possible. You may also find a way to train another person to do this task, since it is so repetitive.
The whole idea when you repeat tasks is to break them down into smaller tasks than that so that you have a process that is easy to follow and repeat.
If you use Six Sigma or TQM in your business, you will know that the goal of breaking all big tasks down into small ones is the ultimate goal for smooth processes.
As business owners, you will use repetition in your own work to build administrative systems that are streamlined and workable. You will use repetition as a tool to predict and plan the future by noting which events and cycles repeat themselves predictably. You will be able to use repetition of use of supplies to purchase certain things in bulk knowing you will need frequent repeat orders.
You can also use repetition as a training tool to help your team become highly familiar with your business goals and processes.
If you struggle with the concept of repetition, remember that as human beings, repetitive actions are a key to our survival and sustainability. We sleep and awake every 24 hours, we eat at least three times a day normally, and we exercise normally doing repetitive cycles of action.
It is the repetition of these comfortable routines that help us manage the unpredictable things that happen in our lives. They reassure us that we are okay and give us a high level of comfort.
Paula Morand is a leadership building, revenue boosting, strategy expanding keynote speaker, author and visionary. This dreaming big and being bold leadership expert and brand strategist brings her vibrant energy, humor and wisdom to ignite individuals, organizations and communities to lead change, growth and impact in a more bold fashion. 24 years, 27,000 clients, 34 countries, 15 books, former radio personality, 11x award winning entrepreneur and humorous emcee.Check out Paula’s best selling books: “Bold Courage: How Owning Your Awesome Changes Everything”, “Dreaming BIG and Being BOLD: Inspiring stories from Trailblazers, Visionaries and Change Makers” book series; and due to be released soon “Bold Vision: A Leader’s Playbook for Managing Growth” go to Amazon http://ow.ly/i8yW307ix67
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