Lean Business Practices

Blog Credit goes to – Bank of Ireland Group PLC – https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/what-does-lean-mean/

Lean is a term frequently used in the business world, but what exactly does it mean? Simply, lean can be described as creating greater value for the consumer while using fewer resources.

A business adopting lean principles will try to eliminate waste and increase operational efficiency. According to Womack and Jones, there are five principles of lean thinking:

Specific value as perceived by the customer: When it comes to being lean, value is defined by the customer. Many organizations fail to observe a product from the customer’s viewpoint. Products should be created to suit customers’ needs; for example, organizations may need to re-examine the product itself if demand is poor rather than changing marketing strategy. Simply put, when creating a product, make sure that you are addressing customers’ needs and giving them what they want.

Identifying the value stream: The value stream is the entire lifecycle of a product from the origin of the raw material/idea to the finished product. If an organization examines the entire process, it will almost always reveal a large amount of waste (this is known as process re-engineering). If an organization wishes to become truly lean, the value stream must be analyzed and improved.

Making the value flow through the value stream: For the value to flow then waste needs to be eliminated. If the process fails to move forward, then this can be considered waste. A value-stream needs to be created where every aspect of production is completely synchronized with all the other elements. A proper structure, therefore, needs to be put in place to make sure that the entire production stream flows efficiently, thus eliminating waste.

Pulling the value from the value stream: Rather than pushing the product to the customer, you allow the customer to pull the product from you. This pull approach ensures that nothing is created ahead of time and facilitates a much more synchronized flow. To achieve this greater flexibility is required as well as a very short cycle of design and production.

Striving for perfection: An organization that is “going for lean” is striving for perfection; however, this is an ongoing process. Getting value to flow faster will always expose hidden waste that is present in the value stream. What becomes evident is that there is no end to the process of reducing all the waste factors such as time, cost and mistakes. The company must always strive for perfection.

2 National Holidays Today you should pay attention to

There’s a common misperception that Chamber of Commerce people don’t like to have fun.  They’re stuffy and just really like the good ol’ boys club.  Well I thought I’d attempt to prove otherwise.  There are some weird holidays out there every year.  And some are worth celebrating and enjoying.  We even think that by enjoying these holidays you can support your local economy and increase your business acumen.

National Double Cheeseburger Day – go get yourself a BURGER!  It’s a requirement on a day like this.  Stop in at Washington Street Steakhouse & Pub, West Valley Taphouse, Spirit Mountain Casino or Blue Garden Restaurant and enjoy one of their delicious burgers and wash it down with a milkshake, soda or craft brew.  My mouth is watering already.

National Online Learning Day – time to add to your knowledge.  Today is the day you register for an online class of your choice through Chemeketa Community College, Western Oregon University or SBDC.  There’s so much learning to do you just have to decide what you want to learn next and do it in the comfort of your home.  Homework in your pajamas, been there done that, bought the T-Shirt.

See, we like fun.

The Outward Mindset

An outward mindset will greatly impact how we negotiate our world and the impact we will have. An outward mindset helps us to see the world as it is and not how we imagine it to be. An outward mindset doesn’t come naturally though. We have to consciously change how we think about the world and about others.

In The Outward Mindset, the Arbinger Institute reports that “the biggest lever for change is not a change in self-belief but a fundamental change in the way one sees and regards one’s connections with and obligations to others.”

Moving from an inward mindset to an outward mindset is more than a surface adjustment or behavioral change alone. It requires a change in how we see and think about others. How we see and respond to others is not so much about them as it is a reflection of what is going on inside of us. We often fixate on other’s shortcomings so we don’t have to deal with our own.

Arbinger has discovered that those who consistently work with an outward mindset follow a pattern. They:

· See the needs, objectives, and challenges of others (Create opportunities for people to see each other so they can begin to talk.)

· Adjust their efforts to be more helpful to others (“Real helpfulness can’t be made into a formula. To be outward doesn’t mean that people should adopt this or that prescribed behavior. Rather, it means that when people see the needs, challenges, desire, and humanity of others, the most effective ways to adjust their efforts occur to them in the moment. When they see others as people, they respond in human and helpful ways.”)

· Measure and hold themselves accountable for the impact of their work on others (“Measuring one’s impact requires nothing but a willingness to stay in regular conversations with others about whether they feel one’s efforts are helping them or not.”)

An outward-mindset begins with you. “While the goal in shifting mindsets is to get everyone turned toward each other, accomplishing this goal is possible only if people are prepared to turn their mindsets toward others with no expectation that others will change their mindsets in return. This capability—to change the way I see and work with others regardless of whether they change—overcomes the biggest impediment to mindset change: the natural, inward-mindset inclination to wait for others to change before doing anything different oneself.” This of course, is true leadership.

The chamber office is carrying this book. Stop by and purchase your copy today to learn how you and your organization can benefit from building an “outward mindset”.

Forbes Coaches Council Shares 9 Pieces of Business Advice

  1. Research And Understand Your Market

Take the time to do market research and really listen closely to your ideal client’s needs. Get really in tune with them to know where they’re at right now: That is different to where you would like them to be. Take this intel and craft it into an irresistible solution for them to be able to get easier yeses in your business. – Penny Elliott, Pennycomins.com

  1. Put In The Hard Work

Starting a business is exponentially harder than another other job. Successful entrepreneurs need to operate well across a variety of functions: sales, marketing, finance, operations, HR, etc. On top of that, creating an enterprise from scratch requires creativity, persistence and continuous learning. – Justin Kulla, BusinessBlocks

  1. Mould The Life You Want For Yourself

You are the designer of your life. If there are parts of your life that do not fit well, you can make adjustments. Think of your life and career as clay on a potter’s wheel and you as the potter. Get a picture in your mind of what the masterpiece looks like and keep shaping toward that picture. – Bonnie Hagemann, Executive Development Associates

  1. Really Listen To Your Clients

Truly listen and empathize with your clients. Everyone is so interested in getting their own personal message across, that no one pauses for a moment to actually listen and hear the root of the problem or pain. Believe in listening 80% of the time, clarifying 10% of the time, and responding wholeheartedly and intentionally, is the remaining 10% of the time. – Stephynie Malik, ChiqueSpeak

  1. Learn With A Team

Most leaders settle for learning by themselves. They read a book or attend a conference by themselves. Good leaders learn with the help of a mentor. A coach can come alongside a leader and help the leader see things from a different perspective. The best leaders learn with a team. An old proverb teaches that where there are many advisors, there is much success. – Ken Gosnell, CXP – CEO Experience

  1. Focus On What Makes You Thrive

Be unapologetic and relentless with what makes you thrive. Many times, we are influenced from the outside world, and cloud our own desires for the sake of those around us. The sooner you are able to grasp this nugget, the sooner it will drastically change your world. – Neeta Bhushan, Global GRIT institute

  1. Play The Long Game

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day challenges of running a business, but you MUST carve out time at least once a week to take stock of what you’re doing for the long-term health of your business. That includes marketing, training, employee development, community engagement and capital development. Sound investments today will pay dividends in the future. – Jim Judy, Try Franchising

  1. Focus On the Rewards

This may sound cliché, but my honest advice is to go for it when considering starting a new business venture, despite the fear it may not work out. One needs to adopt the mindset that the whole journey is a big experiment and that “failure” is not an option, because ultimately it is learning and growth that we will get. Focusing on the rewards instead of the fear is the real key to success. – Noor Hibbert, This Is Your Dream LTD

  1. Network With Experienced Execs

Take any opportunity to network and learn from more experienced executives, as well as to be mentored and coached by some of them. Further, exposure to specific meetings, boardroom discussion, and strategic planning would be utterly beneficial. – Izabela Lundberg, Legacy Leaders Institute

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2018/02/28/9-business-tips-every-entrepreneur-needs-to-know/#865788323463

Dallas Retirement Village – Evy Nickel

Evy Nickel, a resident at Dallas Retirement Village Apartments, is a designer and innovator by training and osmosis. Some years ago a friend, who was ill, asked her to make something to keep him warm. Rather than the traditional blanket or scarf, Evy took it up a notch and made him a monkey! Stitched with love and filled with rice, these adorable companions can be heated in the microwave and provide gentle warm comfort.

Over the years, Evy made many monkeys that she gave to friends or contributed to non-profits for markets and bazaars. A group from her church would gather and make monkeys for hospice patients who gained comfort just having them to hold. Eventually, Evy obtained a patent for her design, started naming each monkey individually, and called her endeavor MONKEY BUSINESS ADOPTION AGENCY. The monkeys were made in two sizes – a larger one the “caregiver” and a smaller one the “buddy’.

With her move to DRV and the chore of clearing out a large house, she needed to decide what to do with her collection of materials to make many additional monkeys. Her decision was as innovative as only Evy can be… she gifted everything to the Dallas Retirement Village Foundation to use as a fundraiser. Residents were recruited to help sew, stuff and name monkeys, and the marketing began. Because all the materials and labor are donated, 100% of the sales go to Dallas Retirement Foundation’s Scholarship Fund. Ever since these adorable little companions showed up, they have been flying off the shelf!

If you would like to adopt one of these unique monkeys, they can be found in the gift shop of the Health Center at Dallas Retirement Village: 377 NW Jasper Street and also on campus in the main lobby of the Lodge Clubhouse and Village Apartments. If you take one of these lil cuties home, please know that you are not only getting a warm companion, but you are also helping the Dallas Retirement Village staff continue their education to become better caregivers and comforters.

https://www.dallasretirementvillage.com/

Reading: A Habit Worth Fostering

There are two distinct types of people when it comes to reading: those who love to read, and those who cannot say when it was that they last read a complete article, let alone a book. With all of the options for consuming the written word, it is a shame that anyone misses out the benefits of reading.

There are many health benefits to curling up with a good book. Reading is one of the best ways to exercise the brain. Brain stimulation in the form of reading decreases stress and increases memory. It has also been proven to help slow and possibly prevent Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia. Reading also helps with focus and concentration, something that many struggle with, within the multitasking demands in today’s society.

With regards to the inherent professional benefits, reading is one of the single best ways to help advance your career. People who read on a consistent basis have larger vocabularies, enhanced writing skills, and tend to be promoted more quickly and more often than their non-reading counterparts. Reading is the most affordable education one can obtain. A library card can open up a world of possibilities to knowledge. There are also many free business books available on Kindle, iBooks, Google Books, and Nook through the Gutenberg Project.

A reading habit does not have to be strictly related to business or literature. Lighter reading, such as graphic novels, and bestsellers are great escapes. Additionally, audio books, magazines, and newspapers are also great at stimulating the mind and provide the same benefits. Set a goal of reading just 15 to 30 minutes per day to place yourself on the part of establishing a great reading habit.

There are so many great business books for those who prefer that genre or who want to inject a bit of professional development into their reading diet. No matter your industry, there are a wide variety of books that are both entertaining and informative.

Regardless of the genre or variant (i.e. hardcover, paperback, e-book, audio book), developing a reading habit will benefit your mind, body, and career.

4 Steps To Finding A Business Idea

This is probably the most daunting area for people. In fact, the most common reason why people haven’t started a business on the side is because they “just don’t have a good business idea.” This is just a mental barrier though — one that you can easily get past if you look at one area: your strengths. Here are four questions you can ask yourself to find a solid business idea:

What skills do you have? Now, what do you know and know well? These are the skills and knowledge that you have acquired. Think of it another way: We pay for expert knowledge all the time (e.g., language classes, college courses, instrument lessons). Guess what? You can be that teacher too.

What do your friends say you’re great at? I love this question. Not only can it be a nice little ego boost — but it can also be incredibly revealing. Message your family and friends on Facebook or ask them IRL: What am I great at? The answers they give you can be turned into side business ideas.

What do you do on a Saturday morning? What do you do on a Saturday morning before everyone else is awake? This can be incredibly revealing to what you’re passionate about and what you like to spend your time on.

What do you already pay for? You don’t even have to play to your strengths and talents. Instead, you can look to things you already pay for. After all, we pay people to do a lot of different things. There’s no reason you can’t turn one of those things into your own online business.

Tribes by Seth Godin

In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.

Since it was first published almost a decade ago, Seth Godin’s visionary book has helped tens of thousands of leaders turn a scattering of followers into a loyal tribe. If you need to rally fellow employees, customers, investors, believers, hobbyists, or readers around an idea, this book will demystify the process.

It is human nature to seek out tribes, be they religious, ethnic, economic, political, or even musical (think of the Deadheads).  Now the Internet has eliminated the barriers of geography, cost, and time. Social media gives anyone who wants to make a difference the tools to do so.

With his signature wit and storytelling flair, Godin presents the three steps to building a tribe: the desire to change things, the ability to connect a tribe, and the willingness to lead.

If you think leadership is for other people, think again—leaders come in surprising packages. Consider Joel Spolsky and his international tribe of scary-smart software engineers. Or Gary Vaynerhuck, a wine expert with a devoted following of enthusiasts. Chris Sharma led a tribe of rock climbers up impossible cliff faces, while Mich Mathews, a VP at Microsoft, ran her internal tribe of marketers from her cube in Seattle.

Tribes will make you think—really think—about the opportunities to mobilize an audience that are already at your fingertips. It’s not easy, but it’s easier than you think.

Washington Street Steakhouse & Pub

Washington Street Steakhouse & Pub has always had award winning food and service, and they have no intention of stopping now.

Statesman Journal recently held the 2019 Best of the Mid-Valley election. Washington Street Steakhouse & Pub won NINETEEN awards by popular vote! Thank you to everyone who took time and voted for Washington Street.

Washington Street won gold in appetizers, brunch, casual dining, steak, bar, happy hour, Best Dallas Bar, Best Dallas Restaurant, and Best Reason to Visit Dallas.

They also won Silver in Best bartenders, best date night, breakfast, catering, lunch spot, and sandwich. Don’t forget Washington Street also won Bronze in Best barbecue, burger, dessert, and place to take out of town guests.

Established in 1999, Washington Street Steakhouse & Pub is a local favorite in Dallas with a family-friendly dining room and separate relaxed atmosphere pub offering microbrews, a full pub, and Oregon Lottery. Invested in our community Washington Street Steakhouse has sponsored, and assisted with after school programs and sports, and strives to bring citizens together through their events.

“We are so grateful for all our employees and customers. Thank you again for voting for us. “

–Washington Street Steakhouse & Pub

As they like to say, “The Place to Meet is Washington Street”.

www.washingtonststeakhouse.com

Creating a Memorable Website

It’s the goal of pretty much anyone with a website: to have users that come back again and again. They share your content; they engage with you regularly; they tell others about the website. They remember the website. It doesn’t happen by accident. A memorable design is a tool that will help create this user connection. Here, we’re going to look at seven ways to create a lasting impression with seven stunning examples of how to do it. Learn how to create a design that sticks in the long term, and doesn’t fly under the radar!

  1. Make an Impression

Users will remember the first thing they do on your website, as well as the last thing they do. It’s important that the memory is a good one. Strong visuals on the landing page and a seamless finish to an action are key.

  1. Tell a Story

A website is your gateway to the world. It’s an opportunity to tell people who you are and why you matter. Whether the story is that of a brand or a travel blog, effective storytelling is the thread that keeps users hanging on. Telling that story is a two-part process: Strong text to tell, and interesting visuals to show. You’ll need both elements to put together a complete package.

  1. Use Color Effectively

Too much color and a design can cause users to abandon the site, too little color and the design can be forgotten. Right in the middle is an interesting mix of color that will stick with users. The trick to color is to create a palette that works for your content but also contrasts with a lot of the other things users come in contact with regularly.

  1. Do Something Fun

What comes to mind when you think “fun website?” A game? A movie preview? What about design techniques such as color, imagery and typography? Any of these elements can make your design feel like fun. A smiling faces in images or video, bright, saturated colors, something to do (a game), or light, playful language.

  1. Engage the Senses

It’s all about the writing and imagery when it comes to connecting with a users’ senses.

One option is to interact with users and provide feedback. For example, a user inputs something into the website and something else is returned. Another option is to entice them into thinking about your design.

  1. Mix It Up

Some websites are designed to have new content all the time, because they do connect with a repeat user base. Changing the content or tweaking the design can provide new an interesting experiences for users that encourage them to think about your site more often and return to it. The key is that the new experiences should still feel like your content and design.

  1. Remember the Finish

You’ve got a plan to delight designers with your homepage, the visual are stunning, there’s a great call to action, but don’t forget the finish. Just as important as the first impression is the final impression. Knowing how to design this can take a little more work because users might leave your website from a different location than where they enter (at least you hope they do).

Dig through your analytics and find the page where most users are leaving and make that experience a good one. Create an offer to give users something – a good discount or printable/digital element – or lasting memory of the best part of your website.

Memorable website design is one of those tricky areas because it almost happens to users subconsciously. Do you ever stop and say “I’m going to remember that website!”? It’s doubtful. But you do tend to remember some of the elements of what makes a website good. The key is that users leave happy.