What’s Causing the Bottleneck in Your Small Business?

by / Wednesday, 27 August 2014 / Published in Productive Business Tips, Small Business Advice


A bottleneck refers to a choke-point in your business’s efficiency. While a certain part of your operations may be humming along, if another aspect of your production is not able to keep up, then serious imbalance can build up, with departments beginning to resent each other and communication breaking down alongside of efficiency. There are many reasons why bottlenecks in production can occur, as varied as the industries and components of each small business, but in order to get at the more specific reasons why there is an issue in your business, you need to determine the root cause of the problem and then address it from there.

Too much going on. It can sometimes be the case that a business is trying to do too much. This can be hard to self diagnose, since small business owners will often blame themselves if they aren’t able to handle the ambitious workloads they lay upon themselves. That said, it’s important to realize when you are simply trying to do too much at once to the point that it is creating obstacles to your productivity. Setting a tight deadline means nothing if you are not going to be able to meet that deadline. While it is important to stress efficiency, realize that solid results can take some time and plan accordingly. If you are trying to offer too many products, trying to accomplish too many tasks, or otherwise attempting to stretch your resources too far, your employees are the ones who are the most qualified to inform you. Devise ways for them to give regular feedback on business processes. Not only will this help root out the causes of problems in production, but it can also help boost employee morale and engagement when they see that their feedback is being read and taken into account.

Not enough support. On the other side of the coin, when there is simply not enough infrastructure to support the level of production that your business needs to maintain or grow to, then that can also create major blocks in your ability to hit the goals that you have set for yourself. Again, your employees will be the best source of perspective here if you aren’t able to diagnose the problem full yourself. Constraints can often be created by not having enough personnel on the job to handle a high volume of specific tasks, or it could be that a single person would be more able to handle the large amounts of responsibility handed to them if they had better tools or equipment at their disposal.

Identifying whether too much or not enough going on is the root of your constraint will allow you to take much clearer action in regards to fixing it. 

Photo Credit to Daniel Novta on Flickr

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