How many of you are familiar with the children's game "Mother May I?" For those of you who aren't, the game consists of a line up of kids whose goal is to reach the "Mother" who stands 20-30 feet away with her back to the others. For each turn the kids on the starting line ask the "Mother" how many steps he or she can take. The "Mother" can then approve the amount they suggested or give them an alternate amount, either forward or backward. The first kid to reach the "Mother" wins.

Running a small business is a lot like a game of "Mother May I?" You may take three baby steps forward only to be forced to take one giant step back on your next turn.

How can you increase the forward steps so that the overall distance is a net positive?

Use Your Resources Wisely. Small businesses are often lacking needed supplies, or have just enough to get the job done. The way to ensure that you are consistently putting your resources to the best use, wasting nothing is by having a well defined set of processes. When each resource is used properly every time the excess waste is eliminated.

Figuring out your processes can be quite a task, but it is absolutely vital if you are to make the most of your employees time and your company's resources. When a procedure is set in place it is as if you have already forged a path for your employees to follow. Instead of having to guess at how to do things, or invent their own way, you have provided them with a way that is sure to work every time.

Despite the fact that it is time consuming, figuring out the best processes for your business is the number one way to streamline your business and make it successful. Having your processes set also contributes to the smooth growth of your company. As new employees join your team they can quickly adjust and adapt, enabling them to handle a variety of tasks on their own right from the start. Overall you save on training new employees, unnecessary resources, and wasted time on individual trial and error.

Take the time to set your processes, the time you will eventually save makes the original time investment worthwhile.