Kaizen is a Japanese philosophy of constantly finding opportunities to make improvements in your business practices and systems. The idea is that by constantly seeking change for the better regardless of how minuscule the improvements are, over time, you’ll skyrocket your productivity and achieve more.
This is a very sound concept and can be applied to any business, and even to other areas of life. Like the author, Robin Sharma says, “Small daily improvements over time create stunning results.”
Below you’ll find 7 Kaizen principles that you can establish in your life to improve your business, health, relationships, and so on. Always remember that the devil is in the details. Even 1 small improvement can make a world of difference.
- Be proactive
The first step to improving is wanting to improve. If you’re not actively looking to improve, you’ll not test or try out new things. As a result, you’ll be in a state of stagnation and after a while, your results will hit a ceiling.
Spend 5-10 minutes a day brainstorming different ways to improve your processes, systems, workday, etc.
2. It never stops
The second principle is that Kaizen never stops and it never ends. If you’re not progressing, you’re regressing. You may not like it, but that’s life.
If you don’t work your muscles, they’ll become weak. If you don’t pay attention to your business, profits will decline and you’ll go out of business.
If you don’t seek constant improvements, your methods will become outdated and you’ll be courting failure.
So, practice Kaizen daily!
3. Eliminate what’s not working
Some practices may have worked well in the past, but as time progresses, these practices may no longer work, no matter how attached you are to them. Always be ready to sacrifice the sacred cows in your business if they’re threatening to drag it down.
Kaizen is not always about finding new improvements, but sometimes, it’s also about eliminating stuff which is clogging up the machinery in your business. Be ready to embrace change and don’t be too attached to anything.
4. Look for cost savings
Always find ways to reduce your costs. This is especially true as you scale up your business. Very often, big businesses have bloated costs which don’t get reduced because of the red tape within the companies.
With Kaizen, you’ll find ways to reduce your fixed and variable costs. There are two ways to increase your bottom-line in business – increase your profit and/or reduce your costs. The latter tends to be easier.
5. Question yourself
Everything should have a place and purpose in your business. Sometimes you may be so used to doing something that you’re in a rut and you do it mindlessly without asking yourself why you’re doing it.
For example, if you used to build sales pages for your online business when you were first starting out, you may still be spending hours for days on end creating attractive pages.
However, your business may be at a level where it’s generating enough profit for you to hire someone else to build the page for you. So why are you doing it?
Kaizen will make you ask yourself why. Now you may realize that you should outsource the sales page creation to a qualified person. This will free up time for you to work on the sales copy which is much more important to your business.
6. Don’t expect miracles
Kaizen is a ‘trial and error’ process. When making improvements, not all will work. You must be ready for this. Sometimes an idea may seem good in theory but fails miserably in practice. Don’t expect every improvement you initiate to yield fruit.
But don’t stop improving.
7. Correct when necessary
Don’t take it personally when the improvements fail. Cut them out and go back to doing things the way you used to… and find new improvements to test. Sooner or later, you will come up with newer and better ways to do things.
This is why it’s best to make small, incremental changes rather than sweeping overnight changes. If something goes wrong when the change is small, it will be easier to fix it. Aim small, miss small.
Apply these 7 principles daily to your business and watch how your business thrives over time and becomes a smooth, well-oiled, profit-generating machine. You’ll also be less stressed out because you’ll have more free time from your increased productivity.
Kaizen is an awesome philosophy you should practice for life. Start today!