Let’s face it, as business owners we’ve learned two things about how to increase your cash flow. The first is that it takes money to make money, and the second is that if you want to get paid you have to put in the work. So, how is it possible to do the opposite? Short answer: By doing to your business what the auto industry did to motors.
The efficiency of a motor determines its gas mileage. Combustion motors have worked in the same way for a long time, but after carefully engineering a new system they now cost less to run on a daily bases. This is the basic concept behind process efficiency. When you take a look at how your business is run, re-engineering the daily operation can lead to cost savings. You could reduce the waste of supplies or raw materials, or the labor involved to complete a task.
Reduction in the amount of labor hours required to complete your most important tasks can save you heavily in other areas as well. A-List staff and team members are hard to find. If your best staff can spend half as much time on your current tasks, they can take on new and growing projects. Likewise, you or the people in your HR department can save the expense and time of recruiting a larger and larger team as you grow.
Where to make the change
At the risk of overusing the car metaphor, it’s important to remember where to make important changes. When increasing the gas mileage, you can’t change the position of the gas petal or steering wheel, and you shouldn’t start removing wheels to reduce weight. If you are going to increase your cash flow with better process efficiency then it is all about making unseen changes to the inner workings of the machine. You want the actions remain almost identical, and the results become more consistent.
With so much to gain, what’s stopping anyone from making such a positive change? The answer can be found in two places. The first is the idea that change is bad. You can hear it in the phrase “that is how we’ve always done it”, as if that statement has ever been a good thing. You can look back through history and see one business practice replacing another always to the benefit of the owners and workers involved. The last thing we need is to go back to hunting and gathering to make a living because “that is how we’ve always done it”.
The second thing stopping a growing company from investing resources into process efficiency is that all of their time is spent on things that grow the company. If you are growing, staying focused can be a good thing. It also makes stopping to rethink a working process unmotivated. Those on your staff who are best qualified to redesign a working process are the same people who lead your company to growth.
Get help with new ways to increase your cash flow
This may be the time to look into bringing in an outside consultant. Someone who can look objectively at the work being done and find a less time consuming, less expensive way to get the same results. An investment in efficiency will save you in the long run while letting you stay focused on the future. If you think it’s time to talk to someone about making more money for less work, check out the services page and contact me with any questions. Answers are always free, and can help you determine if this is a good investment for your company.