How Small Businesses Can Achieve Simplicity
Arguably, simplicity is “innovation’s biggest paradox: We demand more and more from the stuff in our lives–more features, more function, more power–and yet we also increasingly demand that it be easy to use.”
Simplicity is a prevailing theme in the tech world, but it’s a conundrum that every small business will face.
In fact, we’re quite familiar with how Steve Jobs‘ obsession with simplicity drove Apple to success. Yet, achieving a state or quality of being simple is quite hard.
However, if you’re striving for a more perfect union between business and simplicity, in an overly complicated environment, here are 3 simple ways to get started.
1. Remove everything.
It’s unnerving for most, but to gain simplicity in processes, products, services and life you have to first remove it all. Once you’ve literally removed the clutter, think about what is essential about your solution. This should take precedence above all else.
For example, while I’m not a web design expert, from a business perspective this idea is extremely clear.
If your website is geared towards generating sales, everything should point to (and make it as easy as possible) to drive customers to purchase. All communications should entice me to do this. In contrast, if you own a service based business and run a website with the intent to acquire new customers — lead generation should be woven into the fabric of the user experience.
The same methodology can be applied to products. If your product consists of multiple components or raw materials, look for ways to make it simpler. This isn’t intuitive at first, but if you partner with the right engineers or manufacturers – with specialized knowledge – they can help you refine and distill your idea and cut costs.
2. Hide difficulty.
For many small businesses it may not be easy or productive to remove everything. If so, make your products, services and processes appear simple for the end user or consumer. In other words, take great strides to shield your customers from the detailed burden behind the scenes and share the highlights instead.
As a customer, you’ve likely experienced dealing with a sales or technical representative that takes great pride in sharing every detail of difficulty regarding your request. Yet, at the end of the day you don’t really care — you just want a solution.
Keep this in mind when dealing with customers. Most aren’t concerned with what it takes to make the pie — they just want the pie.
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