Do you need to put your business on a fat reduction programme?

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English: American crocodile in La Manzanilla s...
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A physicist who has taken up science communication teamed up with a professor to produce a simple explanation of how the body gets rid of fat. This, they felt was a contribution to the war on obesity. They found that heat is released, especially when you exercise, but that is a by-product of the chemical reaction that takes place in the body when you lose fat, not the conversion of fat. Calculations showed that the lungs are the primary excretory organ for fat. When you lose weight, you need to unlock the carbon stored in fat cells. You release fat as carbon dioxide and water through your lungs.

In simple terms, if you want to lose weight you need to exercise more, increase the number of times you exhale and excrete more converted fat. You also need to be more realistic about what is possible and how fast. Whether this new information will be used by people to reduce their weight, remains to be seen. It’s all right having so-called scientific explanations of how fat leaves the body but whether people will be inspired by this to go on a fat reduction programme is another story.

In this economy, the overbloated small business, or any business for that matter, will quickly become unhealthy. It’s no use bumbling along, tired and overweight in a competitive and uncertain economy when other firms have long since trimmed their excess baggage and are able to be swift and agile. It’s still not too late in the beginning of the year to put your small business on a fat reduction programme. Even if you are starting a small venture from scratch on your own, you also need to think lean if you want to increase the odds of survival.

Many fad fat reducing diets for business are out there but essentially they are really only about cutting out wastage, learning to operate on less, which is actually being more productive and increasing stock turnover rates.

The first thing that you need to look at is cash hungry processes. Stock is one. Why should you have excess stock lying around gathering dust on your retail shelves? If you can’t return slow-moving stock to the supplier, perhaps you can mark it down and put it on a special sale. It’s also possible to get rid of excess stock through a tie-in perhaps with another product. Excess inventory in your business increases flabbiness. A just-in-time system of ordering parts can help. So can a deliberate approach to keeping inventory down to the bone.

Rework or poor quality is very dangerous fat to have in your business. Rework burns up cash, increases your costs and slows down throughput. Reduce the cost of poor quality through documented processes and training.

Even the area of marketing can put unnecessary fat on your cash flow if you don’t watch out. Yes, marketing is important for any size business but you don’t have to go the expensive route. Low-cost and even possible no-cost marketing methods are now available which weren’t just a few years ago. But like anything else, marketing requires expertise. If you don’t have somebody advising you who is experienced and qualified, take your chances and pay for it in the long run.

So-called administered prices are adding toxic fat to small businesses. Think about sky-rocketing energy prices. If you don’t do something about it, you’re just a sitting duck. New technologies such as solar and wind can help but so can an energy efficiency programme. Even the driving of your delivery vehicles can be put on a fuel conservation plan through fuel efficiency driving.

If you want to learn how to keep your business lean and hungry in this economy and even want to launch something from scratch with a crocodile-like slim figure, put your name forward for a copy of “Breakthrough Ideas”. It shows you low-cost, no-cost ways to develop your product and service, operate your business on a cash diet. In nature you don’t see a fat crocodile, a bloated great white shark or a rotund wolf. The competition for survival doesn’t allow flabbiness. Reduce fat fast in your business to stay alive in this economy.

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