Consistency affects every aspect of your business, from your employees’ perceptions of you to your reputation with clients. As a small business owner, it’s easy to make decisions as they come up. Instead, you want to aim for consistency from the beginning with standard operating procedures and policies.Why is consistency important? Customers come to you expecting a particular service or product. They choose you for your quality, and they want the same experience each time. If you’re inconsistent, suddenly they don’t know what to expect. Is the product lower quality this time? Are the dimensions slightly different? Can you meet the expected deadline? When a pattern of inconsistency emerges, many clients head for the hills, finding a new source for the product or service.Inconsistency affects employees just as much. Never knowing what to expect from you as a boss confuses your staff members and leaves them feeling frustrated when you change your expectations or procedures. Consistent procedures with your employees help them work independently and efficiently, increasing your overall productivity.Head toward consistency by creating policies and procedures for every aspect of your business, including personnel issues, product manufacturing, and service delivery. If you make a physical product, create standards and specs, so customers always receive the same thing. Once you set those standards, policies, and procedures, train your staff on them. You can’t do everything yourself, and you want anyone representing your company to do it well.Organization helps you and your staff work consistently. Consider using communication tools, such as shared calendars and regular staff meetings, to keep everyone on the same page. Set up work spaces with supplies labelled and readily available.Take on only what you can handle for better control over the products and services you provide. Spreading yourself thin by over committing may lead to cutting corners or ignoring those standards you set. Hire employees to help you handle the workload as your company grows.Being consistent takes commitment and practice. It’s not always easy, but having a reliable, consistent company helps you grow and maintain positive customer relationships.