Dear all entrepreneurs, I guess we are going to have another terrific weekend blogging and sharing knowledge about business issues. We shall continue doing this in a relaxed atmosphere; otherwise if we get too serious with it then we may not have a good weekend rest. You need to sharpen the saw for the coming week; don’t you? The very old saying goes that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! Come on, you are not a boy, but be smart!
Back to the issue of productivity, I mentioned way back that productivity was basically a measure of efficiency – that is – how well something is done. I stated that productivity could as well be defined as output per unit of input. In other words, it is the ratio of output to input of resources such as labor, materials, machinery etc. Today we have productivity consultants who help enterprises improve productivity. One day you might come across such.
Nevertheless, in our small way we shall consider some important issues every entrepreneur must know about productivity. If you think your consultant is giving you all you need, and you find no value in this write-up, just go ahead and chill while the rest of us proceed with our business. OK? And to those that chose to stay with us, welcome, and let’s go on! It’s a free world of choice, and we don’t have to compel people to do what they don’t like. So, let me say the following.
- It is important to measure productivity in your enterprise. I even feel a little bit embarrassed to say this because it’s so obvious and yet many entrepreneurs have no clue about this. What output levels are you getting from your input of labour hours, materials, money etc Mr. Entrepreneur? Do you think along these lines at all? Or you simply cool off and boast around that you are an entrepreneur, and give no damn thought about it. I remember stating in one of my blogs several reasons such as planning, investment decisions, motivation, pricing decisions, profitability and other strategic issues – all being directly and indirectly dependent on enterprise productivity. Have you read that blog? If not you have got to look for it on this site, as I’m not going to give you a link here. May be Word press will. I want you to work also.
- Productivity should be measured and emphasized all around the enterprise. I do hope that you are not the type of entrepreneur who only yaps about labour productivity – because you want your staffs to know you are in charge – but hardly see other aspects of enterprise productivity including your very own productivity! To enable your enterprise excel in this productivity business, you have got to see it through and in all areas of operations. This is even more critical for enterprises that handle lots of raw materials, work with lots of machines etc. Do you get what I mean here? Don’t narrow down enterprise productivity to one minute thing. Think BIG my friend!
- A productive environment starts at the top. Mr. Entrepreneur, please kindly realize that you have got to walk the talk first. Again, you could read my article entitled ‘7 Guidelines To Improve An Entrepreneur’s Productivity’ – for your personal time productivity – if you like. No fuss about it. Again, no easy link here – so that you look for it at this site. Now, don’t get annoyed with me for not providing an easy link. Next time I could – but I also want you to explore more about what this site contains in the process. Occasionally, you will find a mismatch of a very productive entrepreneur with some unproductive staffs. This normally gets sorted out with time. What I’m saying is this, you the entrepreneur should set the pace for high productivity, even if this means writing strong emails every week. Do you understand me?
- High enterprise productivity positively impacts enterprise profitability. Now, I have mentioned severally that gain or profit is the main driver in entrepreneurship. You have got to get me right here Mr. Entrepreneur. Don’t be so hungry and greedy for gain that you become so hopeless and lose everything in the name of making some quick money. OK? Simply operate an enterprise that consistently creates and delivers value to the market, and do this with efficiency and effectiveness, in a way that nobody does it, and you will certainly smile to the bank with bags of profits. Isn’t this masterpiece a very terrific piece of advice really? Inside your profit are the words efficiency and effectiveness, and productivity is efficiency. A good connection I think. So ignore productivity at the peril of your profits. I candidly think this profit (read money) connection will probably make some people take this topic seriously. They say that money speaks the language that everybody understands. Don’t you agree with this?
- You must understand what affects productivity of the various production resources. Again, I mentioned resources such as labor, materials, machinery etc. in the introductory part of this article. I still hope you remember, or else age might be catching up too quickly with you to the extent that you can’t remember what you read minutes ago. To ensure a productive enterprise, you need to understand the dynamics and drivers of productivity for all resources you have in the enterprise. What drives labour productivity are not necessarily the same things that drive machinery productivity. What drives materials productivity are not necessarily the same things that drive money productivity. Men, materials, money, machinery (commonly referred to as the 4M’s) each perform best due to various divergent factors, and you need to be on top of this Mr. Entrepreneur. Possibly I will elaborate on this in my next article.
I think I should leave it here today, and not take it too seriously until you begin thinking I’m taking a good chunk of your weekend time. My point remains intact, and that is, you can’t afford to be an unproductive entrepreneur, can you? The aggressive business world will teach you some lessons if you choose to be unproductive. Don’t wait for hard lessons before you correct your ways. OK?
Till then, and with all respect,
The Wise Entrepreneur