Business can all too often be overcomplicated without any need to be. This might be because a company doesn’t understand what their core value proposition is or someone needs to increase their perceived worth. Value and worth are increased by simplicity. Let me explain why.
Communication, communication, communication
One of, if not the most important skills for any business to possess is communication. This is not just communication between colleagues but between the business and its customers or target audience. If you don’t effectively communicate what you are offering your audience, then how are they supposed to know what you are selling? They can’t, it’s not possible. By offering a simpler form of marketing communications you can be sure that your audience will understand, or at least have a better chance of understanding, what it is you do.
It is also equally important to make sure that your internal communications are on point. This is obvious from looking at any CV or job specification. Without fail, contained in either of these documents is a section relaying how good at communicating that person is, or how the ability to communicate effectively is essential for that job function. That is because poor communication leads to misunderstandings, mistakes and inefficiencies. How do you improve communication? Make it simple and therefore easier to understand. That way you decrease the chances of facing the all too common pitfalls of miscommunication.
Processes – the lifeblood of any business. These might not be quite so established in a startup or SME but you can be sure that when your business grows and you discover what works best, you nail these down. Of course you will want to continue to optimise them but you also want to make sure that they are not overcomplicated. An overcomplicated process is more challenging to understand, therefore making it more difficult for a new employee to pick up. A more simple process will allow you to train new staff more effectively and efficiently.
By its nature, focus is simplicity. It is the decluttering of your brain to concentrate on a specific task. We all know that you will accomplish more by focussing on specific tasks throughout the day. Overcomplicating your day by focussing on multiple tasks can lead to decreased productivity and increasing the risk of a mistake. How do you get something done, you focus on it, it is that simple!
A perfect example of simplification in practice is Apple. Many years ago Apple realised that there was a gap in the market to create an easier user interface for computers. Stripping back what was perceived to be a complicated interface to create a better user experience. Later simplifying not just the user interface but the hardware itself with the release of the iPhone, iPad and iWatch. Adopting the idea that less is more, Apple is now one of the most dominant players in the market for computing and portable devices.
To simply conclude
Simplification can lead to greater productivity, more effective communication and a decreased chance of mistakes. Why are you not making your life more simple?
Sorry but this post is slightly shorter than my other posts will be but I didn’t want to overcomplicate it. Expect to see many more posts on the topic. For now though, I will leave you with my favourite simplicity quote from Leonardo da Vinci, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”