Why It’s Better To Be Slightly Resource Constrained

Human beings work better with constraints and we are usually not very good at restraint.

Constraints drive better creative solutions, plus we get a sense of achievement and satisfaction when we overcome them.

Too many resources, on the other hand, usually just ends up causing waste. Anyone that wants to stay healthy knows not to have junk food in the fridge.

A good example of this is how some businesses have removed waste bins from under desks. People have to walk to a recycling station nearby rather than just throw something in the bin next to them. It’s a small thing but probably makes a huge difference to how much landfill is created overall. The constraint helps to drive more efficient behavior. And gets people to stand up occasionally, which is a good thing.

Inefficient client delivery processes can be similar. It’s easy to throw more people on a project, or have accounts hand type all the invoices. And sometimes good people make this problem worse because they can “enable” inefficient underlying processes. A good test is if a process falls apart when someone goes on leave.

I’m not suggesting obsessing about all processes but, at the very least, pay close attention to the main things you do that deliver client value. Processes that touch the client (that’s why I mentioned invoicing).

This way of thinking can also help avoid the “build it and they will come” problem that you see some businesses fall into. Absolutely make sure that systems are scalable but keep your resource spending in proportion to proven sales growth.

If there are no sales yet then it is a speculative venture, and that’s fine, but try to keep the individual steps small till the numbers can be proved. As a bloke named Gunga said to me years ago, a four wheel drive just gets you another 100 meters into the mud.

Check out Why you should bootstrap for as long as you can.

Recent Posts