How to Apply Continuous Improvement to Early Business Mistakes

**Note from Megan:  I had issues with the video here, somewhere between iMovie and Youtube a few seconds got cut off the beginning.  Of course, I had deleted the file before I realized it.  I chose to post anyway as I believe that imperfect progress is better than perfect progress.  If my main focus was getting these videos perfect, I never would have posted anything.

I can’t believe that my supplier hasn’t just said, “Oh my gosh, I can’t work with you anymore, it’s too much.”  And then another update where that very same day, my supplier actually emails me and said, “I can’t work with you anymore, its too much.”

So that was kind of crazy and I spent about three or four hours being really bummed out about it.  I did send them a quick email to see if there was anything we could do to save that relationship but no response, so I’m going to take that as a very clear hint that it is time for me to move on.

Luckily, I did have another product in the works that  I am working on receiving samples for right now so we’re still moving forward, we’re still making things happen, its just kinda starting over again.

So, one thing that I have tried to work on, and this comes from something that I learned in my day job.  Which is the idea of continual improvement.  One thing that we talk about with continuous improvement is the PDSA cycle.  That stands for Plan Do Study Act.

So, what I’ve done, and this might sound a little crazy in the world of everything being digital, I actually printed out all my emails between me and that supplier.

Because I had a hunch that the whole process just took way too long, and it did.  The first email I sent was April the 7th and the last email I got back was May 17th.  So thats, is that six weeks?  Now we can back one of those weeks out because I was traveling and that’s when I was working on actually receiving the samples and because I was going to have to sign for the sample when it was delivered, I asked the supplier to not ship it before, it was April 14th or something like that.  So ok, we can back out one week.

But even just between this email correspondence and the correspondence I’m having with suppliers of the new product, it’s really night and day.  So I can only think that as I get better at this, the process will continue to move faster.  That’s my hope, anyway.  That was way too long and you know, at the end of the day I learned a lot.  It’s still a product that I’m excited about and I will try and find someone else to create it for me.  I was just really happy about working with this particular supplier because the lady I was conversing with was very responsive, very thorough, but you know, its just not going to work out, and so we’re going to have to move on.

So again, the PDSA, plan do study act, I want to talk a lot more about this in future episodes and as I get my systems kind of rolling and really figuring out a little bit better what it is I’m actually doing and like I said creating those systems.  I’m going to use Continuous Improvement things that I am learning during my day job and apply it to this and hopefully just make it a really clean, tight process.

So stay tuned, I’m excited to continue working on that.

You know and like I said, it is crazy to print all this stuff out, but it really helped me to lay it all out and see where I kind of went off the rails and went wrong with some things, and where I could be more clear in my communications so it was actually super helpful.  Sometimes, guys, you gotta get analog.  Don’t be afraid of it.  Paper technology can be where it’s at.

So that’s all I’ve got for this week, I just wanted to, because I was a little bit raw when I posted that video last week, the update video, I just wanted to come back and put a more positive spin on it.  So have a great week, we will talk next time.

Thanks so much for coming back, feel free as always to subscribe to this channel, leave me a comment about your experiences with PDSA, with continuous improvement, the CANI, which is Tony Robbins thing.  Any of that stuff, would love to hear about it.  Or you can email me at thebootstrapboutique@gmail.com.  Thanks guys, take care.

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