Starting Lean At A Small And Medium Size Business

Traditionally Lean is rooted in the operations side of the business. In larger businesses this is a great place to look to start a Lean transformation but what about in small and medium businesses? Sales and marketing are an excellent place to improve business.

In small and medium businesses just like any other business you start where there is a need. From my experience revenue is usually a significant need for any business. Sales and marketing are great places to start if the process are not systematic. Here are some tips on getting started with Lean in sales and marketing and I’ll use a veterinary clinic where I have done a project:

Marketing

Standardize your efforts: You can’t see what you don’t measure in marketing and you have to be consistent. EXAMPLE: At Caudle Vet Clinic in Nashville they were currently answering posts on a local online community group about pets. The responses were done on a sporadic basis and we changed to it to be done daily. They see 1 client every other day from just a daily 15 minute posting to the online community group. Caudle Vet now also tracks their efforts by asking the clients “how did you hear about us” or we can tell by the coupons they bring in. By tracking they can spend their marketing dollars wiser.

Sales
What does the client find valuable and focus on those items: Use the 80-20 concept of find the items that your customer base finds most valuable. EXAMPLE: Veterinary customers want their dogs to live a long high quality of life. At Caudle Vet Clinic in Nashville if the dog is older than 8 years old then they ask them if they want the “senior package” were we do some blood work to catch issues well before they occur extending the dogs life and quality of life. The acceptance rate has been 90% just by asking because it is a service that the clients find valuable.

These are just two quick ways you can start implementing Lean into your small or medium size business.

How do you apply Lean to sales and marketing?