Most every business has areas that impact your ability to deliver products and services efficiently as you grow and demand increases. Watch how your business flows on especially busy days or periods. This demand stresses your traditional business model. These “pinch points” are often related to staffing, equipment, or service delivery. As sales increase, a business often becomes less efficient. What are the stress points in your business? Likely offenders might involve an unproductive employee, an inefficient piece of equipment, or a poorly designed process. One of your main challenges as a business owner is to identify these points and the tools necessary to leverage your business into desired change.
Once you have identified the issues, the next step is to determine how to solve them. What tool, or lever, makes sense to obtain the maximum leverage? If timed right and placed expertly, sometimes the simplest changes have the greatest effects. In the case of an employee, it might take the form of training, reassigning or firing. In the case of equipment, it might involve making necessary repairs or upgrades. Well placed technology can also be a valuable and often inexpensive fix. In some cases, hundreds of dollars of technology can do a better and more consistent job than thousands of dollars’ worth of staff.
Improving or developing processes can often create the greatest impact with the least amount of cost or effort. Creating consistent patterns for delivering services can lead to increased efficiency and improved customer service. Often these changes do not involve any cost. Sometimes it is as simple as analyzing how you create your products, deliver them to the market, and get paid. Do you do this the same way every time? Can you improve the process? It is good management practice to always question how we can do things better. The UGA SBDC would love to help you identify ways you can leverage your business into higher profits and a better cash position.
Source: David Lewis joined the SBDC in 1990 as a rural economic development consultant and is currently the area director of the Brunswick office. He has previous experience in the restaurant and commercial fishing industries. Mr. Lewis’s primary area of interest lies in developing specialized management audits and other innovative methods of assisting business clients. He is also a Certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor.