10 Ways to Practice Minimalism in Your Business
Many people are adopting the idea that less in life, and in business, is sometimes so much more. Hence the unprecedented growth of the minimalist movement for business owners of all kinds. Below you will find some of the top things you can do to practice minimalism in your business so you can accomplish more with less work, less time, and far less effort. Put them into practice and watch how quickly your business begins to soar.
1. Use the K.I.S.S. Method
Simplicity is the most beautiful thing you can introduce to your business when working to practice minimalism. That’s what the K.I.S.S. movement is all about. We’ll go with the kinder, gentler version and call it the “Keep it simple sweetie” movement. The idea is to do the following:
- Break tasks down into their simplest functions
- Delegate when possible
- Leverage technology to accomplish more in less time
- Eliminate unnecessary distractions that lead to delays and discontent
The simpler your business becomes to operate, the more joy you will get from your business and the less often you will find yourself bogged down and unable to move forward.
2. Keep Your Business Online
One of the most important factors you can bring to your business for a minimalist approach is to take your entire business online and keep it there. Doing business online requires a much lower initial investment, offers limitless expansion opportunities, and allows you to hire remote staff to handle the less appealing tasks and management aspects of owning a business. The proliferation of “gig” workers makes this more possible today than ever before and helps you reduce your financial risks, keep your business growing, and can even eliminate the need to have inventory and/or products on hand.
3. Develop Your Vision
So many people get caught up in the search for the first dollar, the first $100 day, the first $1,000 week, etc. that you don’t take the time to develop your vision of what you want your business to be and how you want it to affect your life and lifestyle. Momentum is certainly important, but not at the possible costs of creating an avalanche that will weigh your business down and kill all momentum as you seek to extricate and retool later on.
Why is vision development necessary for minimalism in business? Several reasons, including the following:
- Avoids shiny new object syndrome
- Defines your mission so you can keep your eyes on said mission
- Eliminates time-consuming detours that ultimately delay your success
Most importantly, though, is that when you lack a clearly defined vision, all effort is wasted as you have no destination in mind. You’re just wandering aimlessly and there is nothing minimalistic about that.
4. Define Your Goals
Once you’ve developed your vision, the next step is to define the goals for your business. In order to be effective, goals need to be:
- Actionable. Things you can set into motion immediately.
- Purposeful. Oriented toward a specific, defined, outcome.
- Achievable. Don’t set goals so high you can’t reach them. Doing so places you at risk of giving up just before you cross the finish line.
- Specific. You need numbers, facts, figures, and percentages when creating your goals and you need to hold yourself accountable for achieving them.
Most importantly, goals need to be meaningful to you. Otherwise you’re simply spinning your wheels and creating the very busy work minimalist businesses seek to eliminate.
5. Eliminate Clutter
Clutter is public enemy number one in a minimalistic business philosophy. It’s not just the actual clutter in your office or home office. It’s the digital, virtual, and Internet clutter too.
Get rid of the things that distract you from your business, even if those things are Spider Solitaire games on your computer. You want to clear out the clutter that occupies your time, your mental energy, and your physical actions during the day so you can shift your focus to things that are more productive and profitable for your business or that bring you joy.
One of the great things about working in today’s marketplace is the number of independent contractors looking for work. Gone are the days when you have to bring full-time employees on board, offering benefits, salaries, and full-time compensation. You can hire people for specific tasks on an “as needed” basis. This means that you can delegate the tasks that bog you down to others, thereby freeing up your time to focus on the tasks that build your business. It can be any number of things or even just one task. Think of it this way: Most business owners hire accountants to handle their taxes. How much time could you add to your day if you had someone who did some or all of the following for your business:
- Data entry
- Content writing
- Content posting
- Email correspondences
- Customer service
- Slide show creations
- Social media postings
- Scheduling appointments
The list goes on and on. Some businesses even delegate the answering of telephones so that only the important calls get transferred to them, freeing up more time to focus on critical tasks.
7. Go Paperless
Paper is a killer for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Not only does it cause distractions in its own right, it also takes time to manage, file, and protect. Plus, you’re responsible for paper that might expose transactional, financial, personal, legal, or medical details about your customers or employees. It becomes an albatross for many businesses. Especially those that operate from home offices. Eliminate as much paper from the process as possible by shifting to online services and investing in exceptional protection for that information on the Web.
8. Set Office Hours
This is essential for simplifying your business. Not only do you need to have specific work hours but you need to stick with them. Creating office hours gives you time, outside of the office, to relax, recharge, and get creative. It is often during the moments your mind isn’t on work or solving work problems that your best (and often most profitable) ideas are born.
9. Scale Down
Walk away from the idea that you must “go big or go home.” Sometimes, slow growth is the most sustainable and the least disruptive to your life. People who are constantly launching new products, new funnels, new campaigns, etc. are often chained to their business, which is certainly not a minimalist approach. By scaling down your business, you’re freeing up your time and energy for other great things to happen within your business.
Perhaps the single greatest gift you can give yourself when embracing a minimalist approach for your business is to automate as much of your business as possible. This does much of the heavy lifting for you and often takes care of the “busy work” that bogs business owners down. With technological advancements, automation is available for so many aspects of your business journey. While there are sometimes costs involved in automation, the benefits and rewards far exceed the costs for a well thought out plan that has been expertly automated. Examples include:
• Slack. For streamlined team communications.
• Active Campaign. Email campaign management that is especially useful for online business operations.
• Evernote. For task management and organization.
• Chatbots. For automating customer service and engagement.
These small changes can transform your business and the way you view your business. The most exciting thing is that while you’re not working as hard when taking a minimalist approach to business, you are often able to earn more money at the same time.