Life should be simple and you should be running a simple business, but as human beings we have a tendency to over complicate everything.
Did you know there are at least 80 different words and synonyms to describe rain? After all it is just rain at the end of the day.
When you have something that has more component parts to it, than rain like a business, it is only natural that it becomes more and more complicated.
Complicating business can affect many different areas, like:
- The delivery of your service.
- How your team behave.
- How much sleep you get at night.
- Your work – life balance.
- Your bank account.
That is just to name a few, I am sure you can think of so many more.
Before we get into the nitty gritty of how you go about creating a Simple Business it is helpful to start with some dictionary definitions.
Let’s start with the basic premise of a ‘Simple Business’
Simple – easily understood or done, not complicated.
basic or plain without anything extra or unnecessary.
Not having your business as simple could cost you time and money, it can lead to confusion, over thinking and under delivering. Many business owners compensate for this by working harder, putting in more hours and generally prioritising the business over everything else in their lives.
Business – The activity of making, buying, selling or supplying goods or services for money.
The definition of business, in my opinion, hangs on the ‘for money’ part of the definition. If you are not making money (a profit) you are not in business and maybe you should apply for a charity registration number or you are wealthy enough that you are happy to give away your goods or services. Personally I would tweak the definition from selling to exchanging, because there is still a bit of a stigma about selling.
The Three Key Foundations
Foundations are what something is built on and a simple business is based on the foundations of Choice, Process and Measurement. I will explain each and why I believe this to be true.
Choice – An act of deciding between two or more possibilities.
This is your business and everything that happens in your business should be based on the choices you make. Victor Frankl in his amazing book “Mans Search for Meaning” explains how human beings are different from everything else on the planet because we have the ability to choose our feelings. He based this theory on his experiences in the Nazi concentration camps. Taking this a step further to include business, in my experience once someone starts in business they often, very quickly, give up on making their own choices because their choices are driven by clients, by finances, by their team and by anyone else who feels they are entitled to an opinion.
The bottom line – IT IS YOUR BUSINESS – YOU CHOOSE!!!!
Process – A series of things that are done in order, to achieve a particular result.
In the small business classic “The E-Myth (Why most small businesses fail)” by Michael Gerber he explains how to and why a small business should be run on systems and why McDonalds is a shining example of this. A process when followed gives you at least these three benefits.
- By following a process to the letter the result is delivered consistently.
- The repetition of following the process will soon go into the subconscious of the people delivering it and they save time by not having to go through the thought process every time. Remember how much you had to remember when you started driving and now it is second nature (apologies if you don’t drive, but I’m sure you get the analogy).
- Once in the subconscious the human brain, by nature, is looking for ways to make it easier and more effective. This can lead to better processes and better results.
Remember – If it is not written down you are destined to have to repeat the thought process every time you do the activity.
Measurement – The act or process of finding the size, quantity or degree of something.
Management guru Peter Drucker said “You can’t manage what you don’t measure”, and yet the majority of business owners measure so little of what goes on in their business. They are relying on hard work and luck to be the success they want to be. By the way I am not knocking hard work it is a highly impressive quality. I just want people to get the success they deserve in a faster and simpler way. When you understand how things work and what results are produced because you measure them, you can make better informed decisions and choices as to the way forward.
These foundations lead to an ever increasing circle, which will drive your life and your business on to more fulfilling levels. When you begin the Choice, Process and Measure foundational work you start to get information and data which will help you to make better choices, which will lead to better processes, which will lead to better measurements and so on. This gives you better answers, leading you to even better choices, and so on. I’m sure you can see this now becomes a constantly improving situation.