What would it take for you to be three percent better? When you consider your business, your athletic performance, or even your relationships, would three percent change your world? Most leaders underestimate the impact of incremental improvements that don’t seem Earth-shattering. However, tiny changes can make the difference between being a champion and being a no one.
The Tale of Two Golfers
Let’s consider two professional golfers, Phil Mickelson and Roger Sloan. Phil Mickelson has won 42 events on the PGA Tour and is the highest paid professional golfer in history with $51 million in 2015 income. Mickelson made headlines recently after complaining about his tax rate as a California resident. Given his earnings and participation in the nation’s highest tax bracket, it’s estimated that he pays about $27 million, or 53%, of his $51 million annual earnings in taxes.
Roger Sloan, on the other hand, is a virtually unknown golfer that came in 68th in his last tournament and won $133,000 in 2016. What’s the difference between the two? As it turns out, only about 2.8%. Mickelson plays about two strokes per round better on average than Roger Sloan, which netted him $50 million more last year.
When does something as little as three percent matter? You may not notice if you’re three percent taller or have three percent better vision. But for performance-related tasks that are repeated often, three percent can powerfully compound. Consider if you could sell 3% more each quarter, increase your customer experience by 3%, your employee satisfaction by 3%, increase your margin by 3% or increase productivity by 3%.
In your business, small improvements can edge out the competition, improve your cash flow, and transform your profitability over time. While we often settle for good enough, pushing to make small improvements can be the difference between winning and losing in a competitive market. And the best part is that these small improvements may not be difficult to make, as they are often simply overlooked by entrepreneurs looking to grow profits more substantially.
Take the 3% Challenge
Spend some time today to come up with a list of ten ways to improve by three percent. Task your managers and department heads to generate ideas to raise revenue or lower costs by a small margin. Could you increase sales this month by running a marketing promotion or offering a sales incentive? Is it possible to negotiate a three percent break with your suppliers? How would your CTO cut technology costs by 3%? Can you inspire your service team to perform with three percent greater efficiency?
It may not seem like much, but these small improvements can compound over time and take you from good to great. Join me in taking the challenge today. What are some ideas you have to improve by three percent?
About Mark Moses
Mark Moses is the Founding Partner of CEO Coaching International and the Amazon Bestselling author of Make Big Happen. His firm coaches over 100 of the world’s top high-growth entrepreneurs and CEO’s on how to dramatically grow their revenues and profits, implement the most effective strategies, becoming better leaders, grow their people, build accountability systems, and elevate their own performance. Mark has won Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award and the Blue Chip Enterprise award for overcoming adversity. His last company ranked #1 Fastest-Growing Company in Los Angeles as well as #10 on the Inc. 500 of fastest growing private companies in the U.S. He has completed 12 full distance Ironman Triathlons including the Hawaii Ironman World Championship 5 times.