Businesses often underutilize the resources that they have, including their team – their human resources, their financial resources, their time, and the tools, technology, and infrastructure they use to run their business. This is expensive from both a time and money perspective and a common area of waste.
Underutilized resources are the 4th part of a 10-part series on the top 10 ways that small businesses are leaving massive amounts of time and profit on the table in their business.
Here are some examples of what underutilized resources can look like:
- Having the wrong people in the wrong roles
- Having people do work that is not aligned to their zone of genius
- Doing work in a way that does not play to someone’s strengths and how they work best
- Not leveraging someone’s skills, expertise, and strategic and creative thinking abilities
- Doing things manually where you actually have a tool that you could leverage to automate it
- Doing things the hard way where you could develop a system to simplify and streamline it
- Paying for multiple tools that do the exact same thing
- Not leveraging the features and capabilities of the tools you have
- Paying for tools and technology that you don’t use at all
Let's break a few of these down...
Not leveraging someone’s skills, expertise, and strategic and creative thinking abilities is a common byproduct of overly documented systems*, prescriptive planning*, and micro-management.
When this happens, businesses miss out on a big opportunity to find better and more efficient and effective ways to do things, and their team members often do not feel fulfilled in their roles which can lead to high turnover, or people who don't seem bought into or passionate about the vision and values of the business.
We are all about strategic planning and systems - it’s what we help our clients implement to fast track scaling their business - however not all approaches to planning and systems are created equal. Most are overly complex and do not align with the unique needs of a small dynamic business where things are ever-changing and new ideas are ever-flowing.
That’s why we developed the Lean Business Scaling System specifically for coaches, consultants, and service providers to simplify and streamline planning and systems.
When it comes to your financial, time, and tool and technology resources, assess the following:
- Where are you doing things manually where you actually have a tool that you could leverage to automate it? Or where you could develop a system to simplify and streamline it?
- Where are you paying for multiple tools that do the exact same thing?
- Where do you have tools with a lot of features and capabilities that you're not leveraging because you either aren't aware that it has those capabilities, or you simply haven't taken the time to go and explore?
- Where are you paying for tools and technology that you don’t use at all?
When you invest a little bit of time upfront to get automations and systems in place, to understand the capabilities of the tools and technology you leverage, and to understand where you are spending money on things that are not being utilized, it will save you a lot of time and money on the backend.
This is another thing that often gets put off thinking the savings will be minimal, but my clients are consistently surprised by how much time and money they have hidden in underutilized resources.
So what do you do if you have underutilized resources?
When you want to fully utilize the resources you have in the most efficient and effective way, the first step is clearly defining your operating model.
This is an important part of the work we do with all of our clients where we help them define their operating model which looks holistically at their entire business and what’s needed from a people, tool, and system perspective to deliver value to their clients and get the best and fastest results for the business.
Already have your operating model? Great! Take some time to refresh it and look at what your next level business and supporting operating model looks like. Getting this right is foundational to developing a scalable business that can run itself without everything being dependent on you.
It is also critical to have visibility into your metrics and financials – ensure you know your numbers and take time each month to review where your time, money, and energy are going.
If you would like to partner with someone to eliminate unnecessary complexity and simplify and scale your coaching, consulting, or service-based business, that's our specialty.
Book a complimentary strategy call to see how we can support you in simplifying and scaling your business and let’s eliminate waste and find the hidden time and money in your business together. We offer both done-with-you and done-for-you solutions based on your unique needs.
by Crista Grasso
Crista Grasso is the go-to strategic planning expert for leading global businesses and online entrepreneurs when they want to scale. Known as the "Business Optimizer", Crista has the ability to quickly cut through noise and focus on optimizing the core things that will make the biggest impact to scale a business simply and sustainably. She specializes in helping businesses gain clarity on the most important things that will drive maximum value for their clients and maximum profits for their business. She is the creator of the Lean Out Method, 90 Day Lean Out Planner, and host of the Lean Out Your Business Podcast. She is also the founder and CVO of the Profitable Planner Co and Criscara Jewelry.