Every good small business owner has a set of practices or behaviors they rely on while operating their business. These “best practices” serve as a template for employees, customers, and during peak hours or seasons.
As business climates, economies, and the marketplace continues to change at an accelerating pace, “Learning to Violate Your Templates” can be a profitable exercise.
We’ve all heard the term “out of the box” as a motivator for creative and innovative thinking. It worked for a while, but what does it mean, really? Whose box are we talking about? Once we get out of the box, can we come back to it as a point of reference?
Learning to Violate Your Templates
- Learning as a form of experimentation and application, not simply reading or watching a tutorial. Nobody ever learned to swim without getting wet.
- To Violate your templates while in learning mode is simply tweaking a practice or portion as a test. Not wholesale changes, but bits and pieces to see what works. Test and Measure.
- Your Templates might be what got you here, but can those same templates that have worked for years lead to continued growth? With the changes happening with how customers shop, communicate, and purchase – some templates may be outdated.
If the experiment or application (1) proves unsuccessful (2), revert to your previous practice (3). If it’s a success – you have a new template. The templates (both old and new) are your templates, not someone else’s version of a box.
I will never ask a business owner to “think outside of the box” – but I might encourage an owner to “violate your template.”