How Flat is Your Business?

flattened globeThomas Friedman pronounced Christopher Columbus to be wrong in his 2005, The World is Flat, A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century. He’s right. The world is now flat, with all due respect to science, geography and astronomy. Technology flattened it. Advancements and innovations in the latter part of the 20th and early 21st centuries changed the way we work and communicate. A flatter world moves faster. So that brings up the question: How flat is your business?

A flatter business moves faster too. Technology defines a flat world, so what defines a flat business? It’s simple. Flat businesses add value to their products and services and for their clients at every step. Flat businesses focus on what they do best and concentrate their efforts there. Let’s evaluate how flat your business is… and whether, as the owner, you’re flattening it or fattening it. Face it, fat simply isn’t fast.

Outsourcing can be the key to flattening your business. Granted, you won’t outsource those tasks that are your core competency and at the heart of what you do, but why not delegate the tasks to which you don’t add any value. For example, the core competency of a stylist is a great haircut. That’s where the value is. But what about making the appointment? That task isn’t a “value adder.” It’s necessary but does little to contribute to the end result – a haircut with which I’m happy. That’s the sort of thing that can be outsourced and frees the stylist to perform the snipping and shearing – the very functions at the heart of her business. More snipping and shearing ultimately mean more profits. Time spent on non-value adding tasks, tasks that can be performed by someone without the snipping and shearing skill, translates to less time for the stylist to do the very thing clients pay her to do.

Look at your own business. Where do you spend time working on non-value-adding tasks that can be done by others? Where is your business fat when it should be flat? For many businesses, it’s content creation. A lot of people aren’t comfortable writing, and even those business owners who are typically spend nights and weekends working on content creation for their websites, blogs and marketing. Time that is better spent elsewhere.

Successful businesses are moving away from vertical “command and control” thinking to the flatter, horizontal “connect and collaborate” approach. Good business leaders admit they aren’t experts in every facet of their operations. Great business leaders delegate those tasks to which they personally don’t add value. Take a hard look at your business and flatten it. Be great.

If you struggle with your content or spend too much time proofreading and editing it, you’re not adding value to your business. Contact me ( or 484-769-8897), so we can begin to flatten your operation and improve your bottom line.

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