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Less is More

As business owners, we are often so focused on growing, increasing, adding, diversifying and expanding, that we sometimes find ourselves in a position where we need to simplify, scale back, streamline and reverse to go forward.

Small companies wish they were big and big companies wish they were more flexible. The bigger the company, the more complex the structure, and the more problems arise.

All too often, small businesses lose their uniqueness and the competitive advantage of being agile by becoming too complicated and laborious. By stripping your business down to the basic essentials, you create a focused and streamlined business.

Less planning, more activity
Everyone knows I am a huge fan of planning. Failing to plan is planning to fail, but there is also a danger of over-planning and analysis paralysis. A good plan executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week. Instead of planning to the n-th degree, get going and let the plan develop as the project unfolds.

Less comparison, more self-improvement
Another danger in business is focusing too much on the competition. Too great a focus on competitors dilutes your own vision. When you are focused on beating others or doing things better than someone else, you become reactionary. Rather focus on doing things better within your own business.

Less dead weight, more productivity
In a small business everyone needs to pull their weight. The more people you hire, the more management needs to take place. The more people need to be managed, the less real work gets done by people who are earning salaries. When we grow our businesses and hire more people, we increase the opportunity to carry passengers. Sometimes by scaling back, you can get more productivity from less people.

Less goals, more focus
A number of business owners reach out to me as a business coach, frustrated that they are not achieving their goals. After a brief discussion, it is often apparent that they are trying to do too much. Focus on doing one thing right rather than doing a half-baked job on a number of different projects.

Less customers, more loyalty
Stop trying to appeal to a greater audience. You can’t be all things to all people and please everyone. Here, less really can be more. A focused and loyal target market who understands your business, your product, and your work is more valuable than a large audience of fickle customers who are easily lured away.

Less development, more research
As a business grows there is a misconception that business processes and systems need to be uniquely customised. I have a number of clients who are spending huge amounts of time and resources preparing specifications and getting quotes to develop customised software and systems for their businesses, when the solutions are readily available with a bit of research on Google.

Have you fallen into the trap of mistakenly complicating your business processes and structures in the name of growth? Is it time to declutter your business? Give me a call and let’s discuss how you can focus on less so you can achieve more.

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