4 Factors You Must Consider to Operate a Lean Small Business

Most of us are pretty good (hopefully) at learning from past mistakes and using the beginning of a new year to officially declare resolutions for improving our personal lives.  But what about making new resolutions for how we run and operate our businesses?   And who said that resolutions are only reserved for the beginning of a new year?

The paradigm shift from the Information Age to the Digital Age requires all of us as business owners and managers to be more efficient and savvier than ever.  The companies that will survive “disruptive” technologies are those that can operate as lean and efficiently as possible.  This includes learning how to integrate technology and knowledge management systems into their business processes without compromising customer service and eliminating value-added jobs.

How Can You Do That?

You can start by considering these key 4 factors to operate a lean small business and answering the following questions:

1. Business Intelligence

Knowledge is power – you can ensure your company’s longevity by answering the following:

a) How is information collected, analyzed and disseminated?

b) How can technology streamline that effort?

c) What free or minimal cost tools allow for information to be stored, shared, and backed up remotely?

 

2. Human Resources

We all need a team of people surrounding us – even if you are a sole-proprietor.  You can get the help you need at
the right price by answering the following:

a) What work requires employees vs. independent contractors?

b) Can your company offer paid or unpaid internships?

c)  Is some work project-based?

d) Can you distribute some responsibilities to virtual assistants?

 

3. Work Space

You can potentially save thousands of dollars on a lean work space by answering the following:

a) Do your customers come to you or do you primarily go to them?

b) Can you set up a home office with a virtual storefront?

c) Is it possible for you to run an online version of your business?

d) If you need commercial office space, can some of your employees telecommute?

 

4. Business Processes

If knowledge is power, then documented knowledge reigns supreme.  You can make more money via increased customer loyalty as a result of answering the following:

a) What best practices need to be documented so that your customers have a consistent experience every time they do business with you?

b) How can technology decrease your product or service delivery time without compromising quality service?

c) Which is more important in your business – high tech or high touch?

 

Now that you’ve read the 4 factors to consider in operating a lean business, can you think of at least three resolutions that you can declare right now?

Share this information with your staff, colleagues and even customers.  Maybe you’ll also inspire them to bring their own business resolutions to fruition.  And don’t forget – if you want some guidance in discovering resolutions and executing those plans to make them come true, contact us to take advantage of our virtual coaching and business infrastructure diagnostic services.

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