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7 Ways to Make Your Small Business Leaner

A lean business is a business that maximizes value within the company while also minimizing waste. It allows companies to operate successfully on smaller budgets with fewer resources when they are getting started, but it can also help more established companies to save money, boost efficiency and bring in bigger profits too.

If all that sounds good to you, here are some of the best ways you can start to make your business leaner right now:

Make Continuous Improvement A Priority

If you foster a culture of continuous improvement within your business, it is one of the best things you can do to make your company leaner.

What is a culture of continuous improvement? It is a culture in which every employee is striving to be a little more efficient and a little more ingenious each day.

There are numerous ways you can make this happen from offering professional development courses to moving shifts around so that people are working at times of the day when they are most productive. As long as you are always making moves to improve, you will get to the point where you are as efficient as you can be in the end.

Rent Your Equipment

If you are going to be using a piece of equipment in your business every day, it is probably a good idea to buy it if you can. However, if you only need access to various equipment at certain times for specific purposes, a leaner approach might be to rent it as and when so you can maintain a smaller workspace and keep your cash flow moving more effectively, not to mention you can lower your tax burden by renting equipment too.

These days, you can find everything from laptop rental businesses to companies that rent heavy equipment or even warehouse space, so it is definitely something that you should think about exploring.

Laptop rental
Laptop rental

Adopt A “Just-in-Time” Inventory System

A just-in-time approach to stock control is an approach whereby you only stock the minimum amount of inventory you need to get by and service your customers effectively, You use real-time inventory software to alert you when stocks are low and then you replenish only what you need to.

This helps you to run a leaner business because it minimizes the amount of space you need to use to store inventory, while also lowering your logistics burden and helping you to keep more cash in your business bank account where it can be used to keep other aspects of the business afloat.

Have Clear Priorities

It can be difficult to turn your business the lean way if you do not have a very clear idea of what your company’s priorities are at any given time. When you’re running lean, you need to know exactly what tools, equipment, and resources you need each week because you often do not have many excess resources to spare.

So, at the start of each month, you should sit down, really think about what your most important adjectives to achieve are, and plan your business spending, hiring, firring, and project management, accordingly.

Gather Data

If you want your business to be leaner, you need to know what processes are currently adding value to your company and which are more wasteful than they need to be. This is only something you can find out by gathering all kinds of data. From using software to log your driver’s journeys to using key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure how well your team is meeting their objectives, you need to be on it when it comes to collecting and analyzing data, and then, most importantly of all, acting on it.

Do More Outsourcing

Many people think that outsourcing is more wasteful and more expensive than doing things in-house, but this is often not the case, and by outsourcing things that will be more efficiently achieved by a third party, you can focus more on doing the things you do well, thus saving money.

Things that are particularly easy to outsource include marketing, search engine optimization, and accounting, but what you should and should not outsource will depend completely on your company and what works for you, so give it dome serious thought.

If you put even one or two of these ideas into action in your business, you will be able to start operation on a leaner business model which will maximize value, minimize waste and help you to weather more storms than before. So, what are you waiting for?

Implement Software For Efficiency

Automating repetitive or time consuming tasks with specialty software is one of the smartest investments a business can make. While it can seem like spending money on software solutions for daily tasks that your team can manually handle, freeing everyone up to focus only on the most important activities will make your business much more efficient and in turn, grow faster.

Some of these specialty tools include inventory control, accounting and payroll, customer relationship management (CRM) software, sales and lead tracking tools, among many others. You have to do your research to ensure the tools you choose will truly make your business more efficient, but this is well worth it in the long run.

About The Authors

Frazer Pugh

Frazer Pugh - I work in the investment management sector as a professional. Previously, I advised top financial services companies on balance sheet management, portfolio planning, and valuations as a consultant. I am currently pursuing a part-time MBA at Melbourne University, where I am a lecturer in accounting and hedge fund strategies, as well as a mentor/coach in a part-time equity analysis initiative. I have a bachelor's degree in economics, a master's degree in finance, and am a Chartered Accountant. I enjoy instructing and assisting others in achieving their objectives.

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