Simplify Your Business Approach

Computer ScreenKeep it simple. It’s a familiar refrain, echoed from grade school to the highest levels of academia, where Ockham’s Razor provides a constant reminder of the all-too-human tendency to overcomplicate simple tasks. And in the real world, the problems of highly complex systems often tend towards confusion, even though they may promise to provide a well-rounded approach. Especially when it comes to the first few months and years of a small business’ existence, simplicity is both necessary and ideal. Without the vast capital resources and workforce of a major corporation, the only way to keep the bottom line black is to take care of the basics and slowly move up from there.

However, this is all easier said than done. When starting a business, it’s only natural to think ahead to the days when you can provide a wide range of products at differing levels of quality and design. Especially when major marketplace chains are in town, business owners often report feeling intimidated, or at least noticing a change in perspective. Only by ignoring the monsters can the little guy start to hone his game. And, as the fable of David and Goliath tells us, the little guy can win, if he sticks to his strong points. No small business ever succeeded trying to be another Wal-Mart. The goal, rather, is to focus on differences, hone strengths, and not over-exert limited resources in the first days.


One place where the virtue of simplicity is especially evident is in marketing. Often, massive companies can spend millions upon millions of dollars marketing products, month after month. It sometimes may seem like the only way to keep up is to match their spending with determination, sending out email after email to build brand recognition. However, as the Washington Post points out, this is simply mistaken. Recent research has shown that consumers do not appreciate being overwhelmed with messages, in fact, most advertising is disliked. 

This is also quite natural. No one likes being used, and the premise of marketing itself requires looking at human beings and as possible sources of money. This viewpoint is opportunistic and often leads to insincerity, or at least is perceived in that way. And sincerity is one of the reasons that many people prefer small businesses over large chains, even if prices are a bit higher.

Rather than being constantly bombarded by television ads and interacting with faceless employees, a small business encounter often includes working with someone who truly enjoys their job and is passionate about providing top-notch service. And this, indeed, is the best sort of marketing. As economist Malcolm Gladwell points out, the best consumer is the ‘Raving Fan’ who falls in love with the product and tells all of their friends about it in person. Thus, old-fashioned word of mouth marketing may still be the most effective way to get your word out. To borrow another term from Gladwell, once the pivotal ‘Tipping Point’ is reached, you don’t have to worry about marketing anymore. And to get to that point, all you have to do is establish those positive relations through the implementation of basic steps-like good, upfront service and great business organization.


This is another area in which simplicity shines, and confusion screams. Business organization is a difficult issue to get right, but once the structure is in place, the operation will run like a well-oiled machine. And the way to achieve that sort of growth is to take care of one step at a time. As reports, the best way to reach natural growth is to simply add one new task at a time, one new marketing move a month, one new lesson a month, and one goal for each day. This system will allow you to get things done while retaining a clear hierarchy of value in your asset distribution, and remember, time is almost always your most valuable asset.

Finally, this being the technological era, there are a number of tools that can help the stressed business owner to get everything together. Companies like Shopifyoffer comprehensive sets of business tools that allow new entries into the free market to have access to premium planning tools without having to pay for an expensive advisor. These tools include mobile POS devices, barcode printers, and various inventory tracking devices, among other things. And, as everyone has experienced at some point, the trend is pointing toward mobile. 

In fact, predictions point to a ridiculous exponential growth curve for mobile sales in the coming decade. This is key for the business leader looking to capitalize on upcoming trends, and it is also a good sign for those who value accessibility, as mobile software is designed explicitly with users in mind. This combination of factors should allow the small businessman to simplify even more in the coming months.

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