I’ve found that to build a successful business, you have to be consistent. Consistency is key when it comes to working with customers, keeping up a brand image, and being efficient.
But what does it mean to be consistent?
The word “consistent” is defined as “always acting or behaving in the same way.”
Consistency in business seems like a basic idea, but many companies, especially solopreneur businesses, operate chaotically. They don’t have a real plan or roadmap for success. They don’t “act or behave the same way.” Instead, their day-to-day activities revolve around putting out fires and just trying to keep up.
Why consistency is important in business
Consistency is important because it provides stability. If you know that, day in and day out, your company will follow the same processes and work towards the same goals, then you also know what to expect from your business. That sense of certainty can be very reassuring to customers and business owners alike.
Consistency is also vital because it ensures that all your efforts are going towards the same things. It’s easy for team members to get sidetracked and not realize what they’re doing with their time. When everyone in an organization is on the same page, that doesn’t happen.
And even solopreneurs get sidetracked and lose track of time. For example, you may find yourself chasing shiny objects or spending too much time on non-essential tasks.
Remember that every decision you make and every action you take affects your business’ success. If you keep that in mind, then it’s easier to understand just how important consistency is.
This quote from John Maxwell (one of my favorite business authors) sums it up:
“Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing. That’s the Law of Consistency. It doesn’t matter how talented you are. It doesn’t matter how many opportunities you receive. If you want to grow, consistency is key.”
How to Develop Consistency in Your Business
As the business owner, consistency begins with you. Whether you are a team of one or many, you are the leader, and your approach to consistency sets the tone for the whole business.
Decide on your Vision
The first thing any business needs to do to be consistent is to have a vision. Without a cohesive idea of what you’re trying to accomplish, your company’s actions won’t add up to much. Therefore, vision is a crucial part of your business strategy.
Make a plan
The next step in developing consistency is making a plan. It’s hard to be consistent if you don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing, right?
A plan is your blueprint for your business practices and focus areas. It doesn’t have to be super complicated. It just has to provide a course of action for you to follow.
Don’t overthink this. A business plan doesn’t have to be formal or long-term. I like to create plans on a 90-day cycle. 90-day plans allow me to be both consistent and flexible.
Stay on the plan
Of course, this is where many businesses fail. They get all excited about their business and then start winging it without any real focus. Which means they drift off the plan.
Consistency requires you to have the discipline to stay on your plan, even when it’s hard or feels wrong. So commit to following your plan of action for a pre-determined period (again, I like 90-day action plans).
If you can do that, you’re well on your way to a successful business.
Establish systems and processes
Systems and processes are what keep consistency alive in the long term. The more that you can systematize the day-to-day operations of your business, the more consistent you will be.
For example, you can create a daily or weekly checklist so that specific actions will always be performed no matter how busy you get. This ensures that crucial tasks don’t fall through the cracks.
Or you can use automation tools, such as a social media scheduler, to ensure that you consistently post content.
Having systems in place will keep things consistent so that all aspects of your business run smoothly.
Benefits of consistency in business
There are many benefits of consistency in business. Consistency shows you’re reliable. It allows customers to know what they can expect from your company.
Consistency also helps you see your priorities clearly, which is essential when making tough decisions or setting spending limits.
Consistency allows you to analyze your efforts
Doing things consistently lets you see how effective your business practices are. You can then use that information to improve or change what isn’t working for you.
It’s important to remember that it often takes time for your efforts to pay off. You may not see results right away. You can’t decide if something works or not until you try it out for a while.
For example, let’s say you decide to try a new social media channel. You can’t post once or twice and expect instant results.
But if you’re consistent, you can measure the effectiveness of your actions. Evaluate your strategy on a regular basis. Then, you’ll be able to decide if you need to overhaul the entire initiative or simply make some minor tweaks.
Consistency helps you build your brand
It’s so important to have consistent branding and messaging. Brand consistency helps you establish the “know like trust” factor with your target audience. When potential customers know what you stand for and recognize your brand elements, then it’s easier for them to trust your business.
But if you’re constantly changing your identity, colors, fonts, and messaging, then people have no idea who you are. That creates confusion for customers. You want to make your customers happy; confusion does not lead to happy customers.
I’m thinking of a business that I used to follow as an example of what not to do. This business has changed names three or four times in the last five years. I’m not even sure what the current name is. I bought courses from this business, but I don’t even know how to access them anymore.
Do you think I trust this business? No. Their lack of brand consistency destroyed my trust.
Consistent doesn’t mean inflexible
Don’t get me wrong. Being consistent doesn’t mean that you are inflexible. On the contrary, it’s important to continue evolving and growing your business.
But that doesn’t mean you should constantly make random changes without analyzing them first.
Consistency in business isn’t about being stagnant and not innovating or improving your products and services, but rather about having a clear plan and following it. Then step back periodically to assess your results.
Take Consistent Action
The important thing is to take action. This is how consistency leads to success.
Make a plan. Develop your systems. But, above all, take action.
As Robert Collier said: “Success is the sum of small efforts – repeated day in and day out.”
Consistent action leads to positive results over time. You just have to stick with it.