“Leverage” comes from the word “lever,” one of life’s simple machines. A lever is a bar that rests on a fixed point called a fulcrum. The bar is movable and can pivot or rotate to a certain degree.
On a seesaw, when you apply force on your end, you’re able to lift the person at the opposite end with a lesser effort than if you would lift the person yourself. The seesaw, a lever, helps you move something with the least amount of effort. This concept can be applied in your business. Leverage is making a big impact from a small amount of work. Financial leverage, for example, is utilizing borrowed money in the hope of multiplying that amount of money, but against greater risks.
Business Leverage and Spending
This means to put your business at an advantage without spending a lot.
Use your resources wisely. Leave out the fancy filling. Do you think you can enjoy your coffee without whipped cream and some other stuff you think you need? Similarly, do you think your business can survive without some expensive paintings on your office wall? It pays to have the best tools or materials and to be presentable, but there’s a difference between just plain “fancy” and necessity.
If your resources are limited, take care of the basics first. You can try the minimalist approach if austerity measures are too “austere.”
Make use of what is available and maximize its potentials. Remember that you can build a fire from a couple of stones and some twigs.
Get the right people to do the right job, so you don’t waste time and money. If Tom can’t do it, don’t assign it to him. If you know that there’s somebody else who can do a certain task better than Mary, then don’t give it to her.
Super Employees, workers who CAN do anything, are rare. If you have one, celebrate. He or she may be a workaholic, but aiming for leverage doesn’t give you the license to overwork him or her. There’s a difference between a voluntary workaholic and an involuntary workaholic.
This doesn’t give you an excuse to be stingy or to sacrifice the quality of your service or product. You can’t say your food is bland because you’ve dropped one ingredient. It’s just that you can get the same benefit from using affordable but good-quality materials and resources with their more expensive counterparts. You just need good judgment to make wise decisions.
Your resources can get an upgrade as you work yourself up on the ladder.
Leverage as a Strategic Advantage
What is that something that can potentially propel you to a stage you want and be able to vault over competitors?
Friendly Staff? – Your workers don’t have mood swings.
Great Service? – You help your grocers into their cars.
Supersized Items? – You serve the biggest pizza in town.
Pig-Out Promo? – All-You-Can-Eat Buffet every day!
Irresistible Extras – Your customers get a free drink if they buy three sandwiches (too many?).
Avoid empty hype or marketing that doesn’t really deliver. The business world, online and offline, is peppered with gimmicks and false promises. But buyers or clients, if not soon enough, eventually find out what’s real and what’s not. Make sure you really deliver when they check you out.
Anchor your business on your strengths.
Nowadays, it’s not easy to try to find ways to be unique and to offer something new.
You’re pressured or motivated to keep up and be up-to-date. There’s always the call to get the latest and the flashiest innovations, especially when you’re in the technology business. Those who trade or manufacture basic food and toiletry items may feel less pressured.
People will always eat bread. They will always use toothpaste and soap. If you own a grocery store, it’s noteworthy that people still buy the same items they bought last year.
It’s a business where nothing goes out of style. Now that’s leverage!