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In the poem Advent by Patrick Kavanagh, he mentions “the newness that was in every stale thing when we looked at it as children”. When you look at your business, do you see that newness, or have you stopped to notice the stale things? Have you become so used to looking at what’s there, that you don’t think about it anymore? Moreso, how do you know what to change in your business?

Three ways to know what to change in your business

This problem can cause costs and bad practices to creep in and grow. Therefore to counter this we need to find new ways of looking at the business that will give you a different perspective. Here are three ways you can know what to change in your business.

Lean thinking puts the customer at the forefront. So you should look at activities and ask would the customer be willing to pay for this activity. If not, then you should try to remove it. Anything that the customer would not pay for is called waste. So Lean puts a big focus on waste reduction. And by waste reduction, we don’t mean refuse or becoming environmentally conscious. We simply mean reduction activities or costs that the customer would not pay for.

Not all waste can be eliminated. There are some activities that the customer would not want to pay for. However, you have to do it for other reasons such as compliance. For example, the customer may not want to pay for your annual accounts but your business has to do them.

You need to identify the wastes that can be eliminated without causing problems elsewhere and take action to eliminate them.
So over the next week, start to look at all activities and ask yourself “would the customer be prepared to pay for that?” If not, then ask yourself how can you eliminate it.