The concept of Lean is not only for manufacturing. Whether you run a flower shop or a blog, you can implement lean business concepts. What’s the benefit of running a lean business and how to achieve that?
Why you want your small business to be lean
“Lean” here is not entirely referring to a concept in manufacturing that also includes Six Sigma, Total Quality Management, and the others, but the idea of being lean is applicable to any businesses.
By “lean”, a small business is transformed in such a way that it runs in the most effective and efficient manners. That is achieved by streamlining operations in such a way that wastes are minimal.
A lean small business is enabled to deliver orders swiftly in timely manner; a lean small business is responding quickly to changes; a lean small business innovates better and delivers better products/services.
Using a flower shop example I mentioned earlier, a lean flower shop can take a volume of orders effectively, delivering each in quality and timely manner.
Also using the blog example I mentioned above, a lean blog means you can publish better blog posts and accommodates others to contribute for your blog easily.
The bottom line – regardless of your business, you can go lean. Now, if you are interested in going lean, embrace technology as an enabler. The question is – which technology?
Cloud computing as an enabler
I am a big fan of the cloud. I run several cloud-related blogs, such as CloudBusinessReview.com, TheCloudInfographic.com, and several others.
I am a firm believer that cloud computing – when adopted for the right reason using the right cloud solutions – can help you run a lean business.
Let’s explore using an example…
Suppose you run a couple of flower shops in different cities. You need a way to connect your flower shops – along with your 10 staffs – for better management and reduce your traveling for meetings – all in all, you want a leaner small business. You have done your homework and decide that adopting the cloud is the way to go (it’s not always that way; it depends on your small business needs.) You have decided that you need a hybrid cloud solution allowing you to have several clouds in your business, forming one, big cloud that enables you and your staff to work in the cloud – anytime, anywhere.
You have decided that you need several cloud services to help you achieve your goal of being lean – online collaboration, CRM, and storage/backup solutions. Since you are a non-IT small business owner, you want to hire a cloud consultant to help you bring your small business to the cloud.
Here’s how your business can be lean embracing cloud computing:
Using the on-premise and off-premise software, you can now respond to important changes in your industry better – you can communicate with your staffs regarding the changes and respond accordingly.
Having an issue with a customer requiring flowers to be delivered right away? You can contact your suppliers and your other flower shops whether they have stocks ready to deliver quickly – all can be done via online collaboration and CRM tools in the cloud.
Your competitors launching a big promo? Catch up by doing so via – again – the cloud, getting your staffs to get ready launching a quick promo across your flower shops – today!
The possibilities are limitless, and the benefits are great!
More tips: Using Tech to Operate a Lean Business
So – are you ready to go cloud?
If you are really considering to adopt cloud computing, be sure to do your due diligence. Do a feasibility study to see whether the cloud is exactly what you need. Indeed, the cloud is a game changer, but it’s not for everyone. There are cases in which on-premise, non-cloud software is more cost-effective than cloud solutions.
The key is to really know what you want to achieve with the cloud. Be sure to make a well-informed decision.
So, has your small business adopted the cloud? If so, please share your experience in running a business in the cloud by leaving a comment on this post.
One big reason to leave a comment
Win a $225-worth of business promotion with Noobpreneur.com!
To entice you to leave a comment, here’s the deal: For the best comment, I will feature your business and your journey to the cloud in our next blog post (worth $75) PLUS your 468×60 banner with a link to your business website on top of Noobpreneur.com for a month (worth $150/month.)
This offer ends on February 29, 2012 at 14:00 GMT+0
So, be sure to leave a good one here – good luck!
Cloud computing for small business
Disclaimer: I receive incentives to share my views on this particular blog post, but all of the opinions are my own. My blog is a part of an online influencer network for Business on Main.