How to Use Small Changes to Get Big Results

Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare?

The lesson that you learned (hopefully) is "slow and steady wins the race."

There's a slightly different twist on that children's story lesson that is perhaps the most important lesson you can learn about being successful - small, consistent effort will take you farther faster than trying to make giant leaps all at once.

This week, I'm going to show you a process you can use every day to make small, consistent improvements and improve your business's long term success. 

But first a brief history. 

In Japan after WWII, Toyota started a brilliant new management technique on their assembly lines.  

They called it Kaizen.  

It combines the Japanese words for "change" (kai) and "good" (zen), the resulting word Kaizen  means "positive improvement." The resulting process increased productivity, lessened waste or "muda", boosted employee morale, and increased employee longevity. 

Kaizen focuses on small and continuous changes. 

As a business owner you know firsthand how quickly a day goes. Challenges are as frequent and pesky as internet pop-up ads. You don’t spend many days lounging around. 

Your mind is always moving to keep up with all the day-to-day demands and the unexpected obstacles. Those forces conspire to keep you laser focused on the urgent matter of the moment. And all those urgent items can sap your energy, making it easy to adopt a “if it’s not broke don’t fix it” attitude. But it's this attitude that can hold you back from your full potential.

I challenge you to deliberately break your business daily. Then put it back to together a little better than it was before.

I'm not suggesting you create some major catastrophe. Just a small break. Kind of like when you exercise. When you strain your muscles, you create small tears in the fibers. Your body then repairs the tear and makes the fiber a little thicker so it can handle the stress. That's the kind of breakage I'm talking about.  

Here's what I want you to do...

Think of a small goal to improve some part of your business: 

  • It must be specific
  • It has to have measurable results
  • You can accomplish it in a 5-10 day window

In these 5-10 days, make it a priority for everyone in the company to examine that aspect of the business and think of ways to improve it. This is the golden opportunity to make small changes that will have a big impact on your business in the long run.

Some ideas of what to look for:

  • Is there waste in these areas: time, product, and talent?
  • What doesn’t work with the current system?
  • Could small changes to product features make a difference?
  • How can the system hold people accountable?

Come up with ideas to make small improvements. Don't worry about how small a change is. Remember - small, consistent effort.

Try them - and measure the results. Keep what works, discard what doesn't.

At the end of the 5 to 10 days, move on to another part of the business (or do it again on the same part). All these little changes will pay off. As you repeat this process, you add upon your previous work. This is what builds to more long-term success.

When you apply the Kaizen approach to your business think of it as "continuous improvement." You should  apply these small changes or "tears" constantly. Break to build and  be in the mindset that "things are good, but how can I make them better?" 

Empower everyone in the process. 

Everyone should have an equal voice and role in this process.

Encourage dynamic work by inspiring a continuous dialogue:

  • What isn’t working?
  • Why isn’t it?
  • What can we do to change that?

Keep change constant. 

Don’t get stuck on what’s worked in the past. This method is all about making changes as frequently as possibly. Don’t be satisfied coasting, make momentum a priority! Innovation thrives when you challenge the status quo.

Strive to move your business forward even if it means a couple of inches. While making a small change here and there doesn't seem like much in the moment. Those changes add up over weeks and months. Before you know it, you've accomplished huge transformation in your business.

If you want to learn more how small changes can leave a big impact on your business, contact us.


If you are having trouble knowing exactly where your business should be going or what you need to make your journey successful, we can help!

Book a free 1-hour Breakthrough Consultation with us.