In today’s über-competitive world, getting the most out of your resources doesn’t just make great business sense, but it’s increasingly becoming more important that waste is kept to the absolute minimum as we all become more aware of the importance of a greener business environment.
Many times we tend to place the responsibility for business efficiency in the hands of the “big guys”, the corporates and multinationals but it’s small to medium-sized businesses that collectively could hold the biggest impact, not just in terms of resource management but employment as well.
STARTING WITH TIME
Of all the resources we waste, this one is probably the most precious, most scarce and most terribly managed. Businesses across the United States lose billions of dollars every year due to internal policies that don’t allow for the best possible time management. Innovating your processes in production, service, and product delivery can save you way more than you might think. Imagine your business is a local community bakery. Investing in the latest ovens that heat more efficiently, faster, and with less power could revolutionize your business model. If you can have your staff work from home, let them. If we only take one thing away from the year that has been Covid-19, it has to be that work is necessary – offices to do it in, not so much.
Everything we do in our business has a cost, whether real or perceived and if you don’t know what this dollar amount is, you might as well be burning $100 bills. (We don’t recommend that). It all starts with knowing every element of every function and purpose in your business. Understanding processes intimately will give you a handle of what your hourly output per person is in relation to their function and balanced with the desired result versus the actual result. Just be sure not to become overly obsessed with constant cost-cutting because you cannot cut to the point where those cuts start impacting the quality of what you’re doing. This is also one of the areas where you can innovate to your heart’s content and looking at ways to make your production more efficient and cost-friendly should be your first port of call. Things like on demand printing, renewable energy for production plants, or home offices could all make big differences on your bottom line.
In the pursuit of growing a profit-making business, the one area that we can sometimes overlook is quality control. The perception is still very much entrenched in traditional thought lines that to create a quality product or provide a quality service, then the bulk of our financial resources must be spent here. Now, that in and of itself isn’t necessarily incorrect but with the massive advances in technology that’s happening around us all the time now, you have to take a moment to audit your quality processes and then compare those results to what your competitors are doing and even with what your customers are doing.
These principles are true whether you’re a small garden shop or you’re already at the point where your delivery service employs 10 drivers and if you support local business, you’ll not only be keeping your local economy thriving but your actions could be making big changes to the green economy too.