How Do You Boost The Productivity of Your Home Based Business? Use The Theory of Constraints
What part of your business process keeps you from being productive? Is it getting more sales? Creating more product to ship? Or do you just want to get more done each day?
If you’re unsatisfied with the output of your home business or desired results, review your business system. You might find a constraint you’re overlooking that’s slowing down your process.
Once you know the constraint, you can make changes that will boost your productivity. And then your overall system will be running more smoothly.
The Theory of Constraints
But how do you find the constraints blocking your business system? By applying the Theory of Constraints (TOC) to help you identify, improve, or eliminate the constraint that’s holding you back.
TOC’s core concept suggests that every process has a constraint or bottleneck that limits its performance. First, identify that constraint or weakest link in your system. Then work to manage and change it. Concentrate all your efforts on improving your “throughput” or productivity.
TOC uses a series of questions known as Thinking Processes (TP). Use these questions to clarify your productivity constraint. To achieve focused improvement, answer the following three questions as specifically as possible:
1. What to change?
What is the one constraint that you must change to see improvement? Where has your productivity stalled? Sometimes you can easily identify the constraint; other times it’s subtle. Keep asking “Why?” until you hit the most basic reason for the slow down and then work on resolving it.
For instance, if you’re not getting enough traffic to your site, then traffic is a constraint. Continue to break down the constraint by asking “why” about your lack of traffic. Eventually, you’ll see the most critical constraint that’s limiting your process. Focus on and change that to see results.
2. What to change to?
Identify the alternatives that could replace the constraint and result in higher productivity. Test out several possibilities to see which one improves your output.
3. How to cause the change?
What steps do you need to take to create the change? Be rigorous about applying the steps until you dissolve the bottleneck in your system.
For example, you’ve identified one of your central constraints. It’s your ritual of writing a to-do list every morning. You feel like you waste a good chunk of time just organizing your priorities. And it leaves you feeling overwhelmed before you’ve even begun the day. So you decide to make your list the night before or at the end of each work day. That way you can begin every morning with a prioritized list you can take action on immediately.
After identifying the constraint, you’ve replaced it with a good alternative. Now you’re creating a more productive process.
And that’s where the business magic happens. Even implementing one subtle change can make a big difference. Keep making changes and you’ll find your system working more productively and earning you more money.
If you feel resistance to changing your routine, view it as another constraint to change.
Be careful to avoid focusing on a non-constraint. That’s something that doesn’t affect your productivity at all. It moves you away from the constraint or bottleneck in your system.
Instead, subordinate all non-constraints and focus your improvements on solving the central constraint. This is the key to boosting your productivity.
Goldratt’s Five Focusing Steps:
- IDENTIFY the system’s constraint.
- Decide how to EXPLOIT (achieve the best possible output) of the system’s constraint.
- SUBORDINATE everything else to the above decision.
- ELEVATE the system’s constraint (take any steps required to increase output).
- Return to Step 1 and REPEAT PROCESS for ongoing improvement.
TOC as an Opportunity for Growth
TOC gives us a paradigm for the way we view a constraint in our business system.
Think of a constraint as a positive rather than a negative. It’s a way to find inspired solutions for becoming more rather than less. More productive with making sales, rather than stymied by how to make those sales. More productive with creating a product rather than stuck on how to make it happen.
Confront your constraint. Create steps for solving it, once and for all. That’s the path to achieving higher productivity.
Finding solutions for a constraint will also help you create positive action. This in turn will establish a forward momentum that will energize your business.
Repeat the Process
After you’ve knocked down one constraint, find another constraint to solve or eliminate. You’ll notice how TOC provides clarity on each piece of the puzzle. And you’ll also see how everything connects in your process.
Big and Medium size business have been benefiting from TOC for years and it works equally well with home based businesses too. So why not give TOC a try and enjoy a boost in your business productivity.
We’d love to know how you get on.