As a passionate and educated business entrepreneur, YOU no doubt consciously seek out information on how to run a successful and profitable business whenever possible. If however you don’t, then you are making a big mistake. Businesses don’t grow on their own; they require focus, and desire to be the best in the industry… and of course they need a great product/service to get the attention of the market.
A Lean Home Business is one that operates as productively, efficiently and effectively as possible, and delivers maximum value to your customers at a minimum effort/cost to you.
You see, what’s missing in most ‘traditional’ approaches to business entrepreneurial teaching is the aspect of operational excellence. Most programs, books and literature show you how to create a business plan, find financing, hire employees, and market your product. These are all very important aspects of creating and running a business… but they don’t teach you how to run the best business possible.
Now, I don’t know what business you are in or what product/service you offer. You may sell information products online or you may give manicures in your basement. That really doesn’t matter given what I am trying to teach you here. You see, these principles focus on the business process and not on the business product.
Every product/service requires a process to transform it from an idea in your head to something of value in the hands of your customers. And your productivity efficiency and effectiveness determines how successfully you will be at transforming that product/service into something the customer will value. This transformation is captured in what’s known as the Value Stream.
Lean Thinking focuses on the relentless elimination of waste in your business. Waste represents all of the non-value added steps that are part of the end product you provide to your customers. This waste is either passed on to the customer as an added cost for product development, or it is absorbed by you. In either case, it is a waste that needs to be addressed.
What is Lean? Lean Thinking provides both a business strategy and an implementation toolset. The Lean strategy is to reduce cycle time which will cause the fundamental problems to surface (waste) and to target them for elimination. The Lean tools help us to “see” the waste and provide methods to eliminate it. The result is an efficient business that delivers maximum value to the customer.
The following 7 principles are based on a combination of Lean Thinking and Constraint Management (more on that later). Properly executed, they can help drive your business to higher levels of performance and financial success.
- The Principle of Preparation – organizing your environment and yourself.
- The Principle of Productivity – avoiding multi-tasking and being productive, efficient and effective.
- The Principle of Practice – developing routines and standard operations for your business processes.
- The Principle of Prioritization – focus on your core strengths and outsourcing activities for efficiency.
- The Principle of Prevention – improving quality and control by error-proofing your business.
- The Principle of Prediction – visually monitoring progress with performance metrics.
- The Principle of Performance – overcoming constraints to improve personal and business performance.
These principles are fundamental to your success in ‘doing more with less’ in the planning, execution and control of your home business operations.
I will cover the individual principles in detail in each blog post.