5 Ways to Simplify Your Business, TodayJun 15, 2021
Business Is Simple, Not Easy
As you sip on your morning coffee, you sit down to get started on your list of To-Dos. Finally, some time to yourself.
Then, the phone rings, email notifications exploding all over your desktop screen, you're bombarded with questions, putting out fires all day long. Not even one item crossed off that list of To-Dos.
Before you have a chance to catch your breath, it's already 6 p.m.
Sound familiar? You're not alone.
As I meet with business owners and entrepreneurs each week, I find myself repeating the phrase...
"You're making this too hard."
Business is simple.
Create something people want, sell it for more than it costs to make it, and repeat.
Leadership is simple.
Hire great people. Ask them to do things, and hold them accountable.
Finance is simple.
Price your products and services appropriately, collect money on time, pay bills on time.
As simple as these tactics sound, entrepreneurs inevitably find ways to overcomplicate them.
“But Chad, you don’t really understand my business, it’s not like all of the others. It’s more complicated than you think,” they say.
After coaching entrepreneurs and business owners to succeed in business and life the last 20 years — it’s really not.
Entrepreneurs simply love to overcomplicate things. I think this happens for a few reasons.
Complexity bias is a logical fallacy that leads us to give undue credence to complex concepts. Faced with two competing hypotheses, we are likely to choose the most complex one. Usually, the option with the most assumptions and regressions. As a result, when we need to solve a problem, we may ignore simple solutions — thinking “that will never work” — and instead, favor the more complex solution.
We Are Stimulation Hogs
The human brain is a stimulation hog. It likes being busy. The brain keeps busy by understanding, solving, deciding, debating, arguing, influencing, growing, or whining. It’s always working. This means that even if something is simple, our brain concludes that it can’t be that simple and proceeds to make it much more complicated (more stimulation). It does this so that we can tell ourselves and prove to ourselves that it really was complicated — even though it was really simple.
We Place Undue Value on Multi-Tasking
Multitasking triggers certain reward systems in our brains that make us feel like heroic overachievers. But multitasking, especially constant multitasking, is actually a burnout symptom and a sign you’re on the road to burnout at your current job. Killing distractions and single-tasking may take more discipline, but it’s more effective. It’s also simpler. If you’re being “heroic” you are underachieving in other areas of your business.
“Most geniuses—especially those who lead others—prosper not by deconstructing intricate complexities but by exploiting unrecognized simplicities.” — Andy Benoit
What’s a smart, complexity-loving, multi-tasking, stimulation-hog to do?
The key here, not to adding more. But, to take away.
Here are my top 5 ways to stop complicating and start simplifying your business.
5 Ways to Simplify Your Business
1.) Stop Measuring Everything — Measure What REALLY Matters
I once had a client who was running a small business doing property management in a small town in the Midwest. He proudly showed me the extensive tracking spreadsheets that he used to track everything from how long it took for a customer to be called back, to the exact amount of toilet paper used during each stay at one of his properties, to the average temperature that guests kept their units’ thermostats set at in each month (using an expensive, integrated software system installed in each home). It sounds awesome, but while he was tracking these items. he was ignoring the things that mattered, like gross profit and cost of goods sold percentages.
2.) Stop Just Taking Money — Get Focused on Your Key Profit Makers.
When a business is small and growing, we’ll take money for just about anything. If I’m a one-man painting company operating out of my truck, I’ll say yes to just about any kind of work. Working on low-margin jobs to make a few bucks here or there. But, if I get focused on ONLY doing interior and exterior repaints of houses over 3000 sq.ft., which are typically much higher margin and require less running around, I have both uncomplicated my life AND made more money.
3.) Stop Winging It — Make Structure Your Best Friend
One of the greatest joys of entrepreneurship and self-employment is the fact that, when we own our own business, WE get to decide what to do each day. This freedom is awesome, but unchecked over time it can create big problems. The solution is to purposefully add structure to your business. Having a hard time deciding what to do first? Create a task management system that you look at on Sundays and calendarize the tasks into blocks each week. Staff not getting things done even though you talk with them multiple times each day? Schedule a mandatory daily huddle with a standing agenda to talk about what needs to happen each day.
4.) Stop Thinking So Big — Think Medium... Or Even Small.
While big visions and dreams can be exciting to us, the truth is that if something is too big, or too far away, it’s difficult for us to stay focused on the goal. Part of this is because the goal may be too far away, but part of it is also that when we set large goals, we are requiring ourselves to also have an equally large belief system to support them. It doesn’t matter how much we “want it” or how much we “proclaim it” – all that matters is how much we BELIEVE it. It’s this true belief that affects all of our actions. BIG goals are harder to believe, and thus harder to accomplish. Set a smaller goal, accomplish it, and then do it again. This allows you to gain momentum so that the big stuff will come easier over time.
5.) Stop Multitasking — Do One Thing At A Time
You may have heard that multitasking is bad for you, but new studies show that it kills your performance and may even damage your brain. Every time you multitask you aren’t just harming your performance at the moment; you may very well be damaging an area of your brain that’s critical to your future success at work. On top of that, multitasking is complicated. Our brain has to switch back and forth between tasks, and each time we switch it uses precious brainpower to disengage and engage in the next task. If we complete one task at a time, preferably the most important task, then our brainpower is conserved and we are able to more efficiently engage the next task.
Commit to getting your business back on track and in no time, you’ll be operating with less stress and more efficiency.
Need some help in determining how best to simplify your business? Reach out to me via [email protected] and I can fill you in on an exciting new coaching endeavor I think you could really benefit from. Let’s talk – no strings attached.
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