Thursday, October 16, 2008

Doing More With Less: Our Nation's And Your Firm's Key To Success

In a new book about the nation's economic future, "I.O.U.S.A.," stock market guru Warren Buffet discussed one of our country's greatest assets: Our ability to become more productive decade after decade.
Said Buffet: "If you go back 100 years, a very high percentage of the people worked on farms. And if you'd said to people at the time, somebody's going to invent an automotive engine, and tractors will replace horses, and you'll need fewer people and you'll have combines and planters, etc...People would have asked what they were going to do, and would have expected the world to come to an end. That isn't what happened. People are freed up to go up into other things.
"It's a blessing when fewer people can accomplish the same goals. The railroad industry, at one time, employed a million people in this country. Now there's about 200,000, and they're hauling far more freight than they did when they employed the million people. If you'd predicted 40 or 50 years ago that 800,000 people were going to lose their jobs in rails, all of the rail workers would have formed committees and looked for congressmen to protect them and that sort of thing. But in the end, that's what capitalism's all about: finding ways that fewer people can do the same job, so that the people released can turn out even more goods and services that people want."
The key to your firm's success is the same. We, as business owners, need to find ways that fewer people can do the same job. If you can accomplish this feat, you can free some of your employees to find new, innovative ways to grow your business.
--Ron Ameln, SBM


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