Every business, whether it is an insurance company or a manufacturer, an auto mechanic or service provider, goes through a process, a sequence of activities and steps to deliver it’s product or service.
If you repair cars, you need to pull the car into your garage, put it on the lift, lift it, remove the wheels or plugs or something, fix the problem and put it back together again.
To sell your services you need to make the cold call, discuss the project, write up the specifications, put it in a quote and deliver it to your prospect.
Every business is simply a sequence of many small events. Some elements are naturally faster. Some are naturally slower.
If you want to fix cars faster or if you want to get the quote out earlier – you need to fix the slowest part of the sequence. Your business can only operate as fast as the slowest part.
So, stop trying to speed everything up, because some parts of your sequence might already be moving quickly and smoothly Instead, observe your process, and figure out the slowest point in that process. What’s causing a bottle neck? What are you waiting too long for? Then, work on finding a way to get the car up on the lift faster, or to remove the wheels faster – improve whatever is the slowest step. This will optimize your effort and ensure you speed up the process, and your business.
Great point, Mike! All of us entrepreneurs are so darn impatient when it comes to moving our businesses forward. It never happens as quickly as we’d like.
One thought I would add is to not only look for the slowest part of the process to speed up, but also look for the part of the process that has the greatest impact when it is sped up.
Excellent point, Sabrina! Look for overall impact, and also impact on profitability. So maybe one part of your process is not the slowest, but the more time that part takes, the more money it costs you…. food for thought!
Great tip Mike! This is something that most of small business don’t pay enough attention and is critical. A lot of money is lost not taking in count this key concept. The key here is to make the exercise of sitting down many times and probably many hours to analyze and measure the main steeps of the critical process in the company, and this is something that many small business can’t do by themselves, they need the help of an outsider.