As an entrepreneur, you’re going to find yourself in a position where you are spinning a lot of plates in the air to be able to keep up with your business goals. Everyday life for a business is utterly hectic at times, and it can be rather stressful to try and manage everything.
There are often unnecessary roadblocks for what it is you want to do, and the more time that you spend on working through a web of complications, the less time you are spending on your business. When time is most certainly a precious object, you have to be able to look at your business processes and identify exactly where things are going wrong. The management of your day is going to be a crucial factor in your business success. It can, however, be very hard to cultivate a good routine when each day could be different when you are in a business environment.
You have to be able to look at the processes that make your business function on a daily basis and know whether these processes are productive enough for your company. If they’re not, it’s time to cut the fat! You may look at your daily processes and decide that they’ve been working so far, so why change something that’s always been good? The thing is, if it’s wasteful for your business, it’s not a good thing. Once you understand exactly how your business processes are happening, you can maximise your daily routines so that you are more efficient and are working better. Lean methodology is often an effective tool here so that you can better identify your work opportunities.
Identifying where things are going wrong and investing in a good ERP can really help you to change your day to day business life. Doing things in the way that they’ve always been done can actually hinder innovation. You can streamline your processes in your business and eliminate the waste that comes with them.
If you haven’t heard of it before, the Lean methodology is the way that you can bring in more value with less input. It’s something that is mostly used in manufacturing, but why can’t you use it in a regular office environment? If you’re printing your documents, and you have to walk across the office floor to get to the printer, you are wasting time.
Bringing the printer closer to your workstation cuts out the time that you take to get the printing done. This is just a small example of how you can implement a decent system to manage your time. You need to remove all the elements of your working day that doesn’t make you productive. It’s a never-ending fight, eliminating wasteful behaviour, because half the time you won’t even be aware that you are doing it.
Before you can do anything, you have to work out what waste is for your business. We’re not talking trash cans here, either. Waste is absolutely anything that affects your working day but not in a positive way. If your business is being negatively affected by a particular process, then that process can be identified as being wasteful. If your business processes are being interrupted, then there is waste preventing you from earning more money and keeping time. There are eight different types of waste, believe it or not. These include:
- Doing Too Much: if you are putting too much effort into a process that won’t be used, you’re wasting time.
- Movement: we mentioned moving to the other side of the office to the printer? Well, gathering information and travelling from place to place to complete a job wastes your time which then costs you money.
- Transportation: the movement between jobs that you do – mostly unnecessary.
- Excess: the excess of what is absolutely necessary in your role.
- Waiting: the delays between all the processes together.
- Defects: any aspect of your working day where processes do not adhere to the need.
- Overproduction: production beyond business need.
- Unused Talent: not looking at what more your employees can bring to the table.
The best start to eliminate any aspect of waste is to create a plan and identify the changes that you want to make. Once you make a plan, you can predict the results that you could achieve and work out whether these results are beneficial to your business or not. Planning is the first part of the process, but the next is actually carrying that plan out. Doing this on a larger scale is going to mean having a test run on a small scale. This can be done under controlled conditions where you can see whether your ideas and your plans can be possible. The trial that you do will give you results and you can analyse these to then see whether new processes that are less wasteful can be implemented in your company.
The key here is to have everyone in your business thinking in a lean way. Lean methodology starts with management and filters down, so you need to ensure that team leaders in your business are up to scratch on what you want to achieve and why. Once you get them behind your new ideas, you are far more likely to be successful and you can watch your company become far more efficient. Implementing good management systems motivates staff and allows you to save time and money, which are so precious when you start your own company. There is so much to get done on a daily basis in business that organisation has to be a priority for your staff.
Lean processes are very popular in Japan, and the more time you waste, the more money you waste as well. Your finances are a big part of your business, so where possible you should be ensuring that you don’t waste any money at all. When you implement the right management system, you can go so much further with your time – thus, saving you the cash you never knew you had.