The Balance Between Consistency and Flexibility
There are so many elements of good business that seem contradictory, even paradoxical. You have to spend money to make money; your mistakes are what help you get better; and so on. While so many fundamental aspects of successful business may not seem to go together on the surface, they still must be combined to thrive. The key here is balance.
For your business to reach its full potential, you have to find the balance between caution and risk; between heavy advertising and wasteful spending; between adapting to the market and remaining true to your values. But one of the more difficult balancing acts you will find is that between consistency and flexibility.
To give your customers the product/service they expect and fulfill the promises of your advertising, you need a high level of consistency in every aspect of the company. The quality of your product/service should remain consistently high, as well as the premium you put on customer service. Consistency is the part of a business that helps you stay true to your original mission statement and what your customers have come to expect.
While you must continue to give your customers the kind of service and products that they have come to expect, you must also be flexible to changes in your market and the needs of your customers. You want to continue to provide the same things that got you to where you are, but you must also adapt and find better ways to serve your customers. This may mean changing essential, even fundamental, elements of your business if it becomes clear that this is what the market requires.
A Little at a Time
The key to finding a healthy balance of consistency and flexibility is to improve a little at a time. Massive overhauls are not necessary every time you find a problem that should be remedied or a solution that makes things better. Take things slowly and carefully when changes must be made, and be sure to carefully monitor all key metrics that would reflect the change.
One easy way to maintain this mindset is by using a 1% rule. Try to improve each aspect of your business 1% at a time, and these small changes will incrementally add up to monumental improvements. They will also help you avoid huge mistakes, as small changes can often be undone when necessary. Be flexible enough to get better a little at a time, but remain consistent enough to give your customers the kind of service they have come to expect.