When you are running any sized business, it is important to ensure it is lean. If a business is not lean, then it is full of waste and excess. Over time this will have an impact on the profits and bottom line of a business. This waste and excess will end up costing you a lot of money, and it will absorb valuable resources. Creating a strategy and action plan for how you will improve efficiency is the best approach.
Create a Business Plan
When you started your business, you created a business plan, and now it is time to update that plan so you have something to move forwards with. A business plan that focuses on how you will be lean will help you focus your efforts. For instance, it may include research and data that will show you operations and processes that can be cut back or eliminated completely. In your business plan, you can evaluate your efforts and those of your competitors. From here, you can see where excess can be reduced.
Excess is going to have an impact on how efficient your business is. It is going to be present in many areas of your business, from staffing right on through to marketing and advertising. Establishing where the excess needs to be removed is the first step you take. For instance, if you are running a business that relies on a supply chain, then you can trim the fat and reduce the amount of SKUs in your system to streamline your business. Or, if you are running a distribution business, look at your operations. Are they excessive,and are they smooth and efficient?
Focus on Adding Quality
Once you have eliminated excess and waste from your business, it is now time to introduce quality. High-quality processes and operations will help you run a company that is much more efficient and streamlined. When you are looking at adding quality always look at what you expect to get in return. For instance, if you are looking at adding quality to a customer’s transaction, then how much will this cost, and what impact will it have on the business overall? To add quality that gets results, you may want to put yourself in the position of a customer or client and see what their expectations are.
Creating Goals for an Efficient Lean Business
If you do not set goals for your business, you will end up reverting back to the old ways. This may mean that you fall into the trap of adding waste and not quality. Goals for an efficient and lean business will be specific, they will be relevant, and they will be targeted. An example of a goal for an efficient and lean business would be to add something of value or quality to the customer experience within the next three months. Another example could be something like simplifying business operations and turning to outsourcing to reduce staffing costs within the next 12 months.