Your Minimalist Business

A minimalist business is uncluttered, deeply niched, automated, with a simple, profitable business model based on your strengths. See previous posts for what that looks like.

Other than being part of a fad, why would you do this?

You will be more profitable. You will have more capacity within your business to work on interesting projects. Your business will be more valuable, if you choose to sell it. You will love your business again because it will be fun and easy.

You will have more time

When your space is uncluttered, it is easier to find things. Automation will free your time. Delivering only what is most valuable takes less time.

You will have more energy

Automation frees you from worrying about the details. Working from your strengths means better results from less effort. Loose ends, clutter, bloat and non-clarity all suck your energy.

You will have more money

Focusing on a single deep niche means you can charge more. A business model that gets at the heart of what your customers want and your strengths is very profitable. Automation usually saves money, when done appropriately and well, take the time to do it right.

I’m sold, now what?

Start where you feel the most pain – time, money or energy. Look for the low hanging fruit. I find working on these projects in that first hour of the day is essential to accomplishing anything. You’ll still feel like you have run out of time at the end of the day, but you will be making progress to a better business.

Your business can be this simple. Stay tuned for a deeper discussions.


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What is a Minimalist Business Part VI – Automated

There are so many opportunities to automate that if you are like everyone else, and of course you are, then you are overwhelmed. “There’s an app for that.” is part of our lexicon now. Which is great when you need your phone to be a flashlight or alerts about the weather while you are traveling. When you  feel like you spend every minute of the day doing what you do, trying to find the time to figure out better ways of doing that feels impossible.

Here’s the thing, every time you do it, you free up more time to work on what is most important. That gives you more results with less effort.

When you automate tasks that are done over and over, you create capacity to offer custom experiences in the areas of your business where it matters most. Most people don’t need or want a customized approach to buying your offering. They want a standard, automated process. They do want their questions answered about how your solution applies to their particular situation.

Free your mind of worrying or keeping track of things that recur. Automate bill paying; schedule notices to be sent; pop up reminders, searchable filing systems, one-click processes. All of these are ways to clear out the clutter in your brain to focus on what is most important.

Make it easier for your customers to engage with you. Let them schedule their own appointments, make the buying or engagement process easy, make it painless to share your story. Use automation tools to monitor your social media so you can be a part of the conversation.

How?

Take it one step at a time. Look at all the things you do.for the things that take your focus away from where you give the most value. Look for things that suck your energy. Look for things that create bottlenecks.

Ask others what they automate and what they recommend.

Gather a couple of you to create a mastermind group to explore one piece at a time – together. You can pool resources and share best practices. You can take turns being the guinea pig.

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

What is a Minimalist Business Part V – Profitable Business Model

Make sure your business model is profitable. You would think this would go without saying, but it doesn’t.  A profitable business model is laser focused on providing predictable clear value to a defined group of eager people.

The reality we are working in is that times are tough. People are struggling and they don’t part with their money easily. As business owners, our response is to pile on the value. We believe in what we do and we believe that if only people try it, they will get the benefit. In doing this we forget that not everyone wants the same value, so we give everyone the works and we lose sight of the cost to us. That’s how a business model gets bloated.

Stay focused on providing the benefits that your select group of business owners value.

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

What is a Minimalist Business Part IV – Strengths based

Working from your strengths is using leverage. You will get better results with less effort. You will give better results making your customers even happier.

You will enjoy your work, encouraging you to focus more, get better and enjoy your work even more. We revel in gaining mastery and in doing our best. We experience flow (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_%28psychology%29) when we are working from our strengths. Flow is that wonderful place where we are so wrapped up in what we are doing, it feels like time stands still.

Your business sweet spot is that convergence of your strengths, your passions and what people need. It’s amazing how often your passion and your strengths converge. In fact it’s hard to know which comes first, your passion or your strength. When you are passionate you work harder, and the better you become, the more passionate you become.

A Minimalist Business built upon your strengths (and passions) will be easier to keep focused, will be more profitable and easier for you to manage.

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

What is a Minimalist Business Part III – Deeply Niched

A minimalist Business is deeply niched and that means it provides one service. A deeply niched business knows their customers well and the exact problem the business can solve for their customers. They know their customer’s needs, fears, aspirations and dreams. They know how to find their customers, what to say to them and what offer will make them buy. The deeply niched business focuses all their attention on becoming experts at understanding and empathizing with their customers and the problem they solve

The deeply niched business focuses all their attention on becoming experts at the solution they provide. They learn and practice until they are experts.They gather stories, case studies and best practices. It becomes easier to do the work and make their customer happy. The deeply niched business can charge more per hour because of efficiencies or because of competencies.

With a deeply niched business, one of two things happens: the business becomes very efficient and does volume business or they become the type of specialists that offer a service that goes deep for a small number of customers.

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

What is a Minimalist Business Part II – Uncluttered

The common perception of minimalism is about an uncluttered space. The outcome of decluttering space is an uncluttered life. Today we are talking about business. What does uncluttered look like in business?

Certainly, it’s our space. An uncluttered space makes it easy to move, to think and be creative. An uncluttered space makes it easier to focus on the task at hand, not on all the other things to be done. An uncluttered space is more welcoming to our customers. Think about shops and offices you have visited.

Work towards an uncluttered value proposition and business model. The fad these days is to pile on the bonuses like extra reports, ebooks and videos. Or to upsell, cross-sell and package our offerings. While these strategies  make the offer seem more valuable, they also feel bloated and come with obligations to store, manage or consumes these extras. Companies that focus on one thing and do it really well, thrive. Think about the Chicken Burger restaurant or Pete’s Frootique. You know what you will get there and you are not disappointed. Both of these have been around for decades and continue to thrive.

Having our mind uncluttered means we can focus deeply on what is most important at the moment. We choose that particular task because it gives us the most value in reaching where we want to be. We can do this by automating repetitive tasks and by storing things we need to remember in the most important place outside of our brain.

An uncluttered customer relationship is one where both sides are clear on what to expect and those expectations are met or exceeded. Communications are anticipated and provide what the customer is looking for. For instance weekly flyers from the grocery store. People who shop sales, look for them.

The hardest part of creating an uncluttered business is being clear on what we offer, to whom and how. After that, we can strip away the rest and focus on what is most important to reach those goals.

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