What does it mean for a company to operate lean and why does it matter? If a company is operating lean it means that the overhead a business has is as low as possible and it translates into cash in your pocket. Here are three ways to help your business operate lean – today!

1.Become obsessed about eliminating waste. Eliminate wasted supplies, wasted time, wasted movement; get rid of all the waste! Not only will this save you time and money, but it will give you and your employees a better environment to work in. Charge your employees to be on the lookout for waste as well; the more everyone buys into being waste eliminators the more effective it will be. We were going through our budget and found that we spent way too much a year on k-cups for our office Keurig machine. We decided to buy a regular coffee maker, make coffee a pot at a time and we are looking at saving over $2,000 a year. While everyone in our office needs coffee to function, that one little change has helped us operate leaner and puts cash back in the budget.

2. Understand that every dollar spent should produce two dollars. While this may not be the case all the time, part of being in business is like being a magician. Your goal is to multiply money every time you touch it. So, take a good look at what you are investing in employees, equipment, or software and make sure every area is providing you a good return on your investment.

3. Think about bartering or using outside contractors for services.  While the government looks at barter like any other transaction (and it must be reported) you will find that there are many contractors that would be more than happy to exchange your services for their services.  An outside contractor, even someone like an accountant, a janitorial service or a plumber could potentially eliminate your need to hire a part time person to help around your dealership freeing up valuable dollars that can flow to your bottom line.  If you need marketing help, check out a service like Fiverr where there are a multitude of professionals with ratings that you can use for a small fee. This is a great way to keep your expenses low.

Guys, we realize you have may have been doing things the same way for a long time and it can be hard to change.  However, by making small changes, like the coffee in our case, you can put cash back in your pocket today!