Minimalist Business

Minimalism is a hot topic and trend these days. It’s as much a rejection of consumerism and bad business practices (environmental, labour and greed) as it is a by-product of income disparity. It grows out of mistrust of business motives and a desire to take back the control of our lives. When a famous book about eating right starts by saying “Eat food..” and then the author concedes that that may be harder than it should be because the food we are sold is not only or always food, we can be forgiven for wanting to take control from corporations and back into our own (or our neighbour’s)  hands.

Most businesses start as minimalist businesses by necessity: focused, spare and simple. Very quickly business owners are told all they must do to be in business (see Dangerous Lies we tell Small Business Owners). We stop focusing on providing the best product or service to our customer and work on building systems, writing a marketing plan and creating return policies.

Pretty soon we are so mired in the everyday details of managing our business that we begin to see those pesky customers as distractions. We work longer and harder for less and fewer results.

Lets get back to the basics. What is a Minimalist Business?

It’s a business where the focus is on providing awesome service to our customers. There are no distractions. You and the business are running under capacity, it is transparent and open, automated, conducive, with a clear, simple, value-laden business model.

Yes, but, I hear you say, My business isn’t that simple, my customers/my service/my community are… etc. While every business is unique they all share the fundamental basics of value exchange. You provide a service (maybe in the form of a product) and your customers pay for it.

Your business can be this simple. Stay tuned for a deeper discussion in Part II.

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