You may be feeling helpless from the clutter of your material possessions or the busyness in your life. The clutter leaves you with an overwhelming reality that you need to organize everything ALL AT ONCE. This overwhelming feeling may also present itself when simplifying your small business.
Can you relate?
You are consistently going and moving, things get pushed aside or piled on top of each other. Until the time comes when you get a second to breathe and look around. That’s when you realize, “My, what a mess I’ve made”. You begin to straighten up one area but another area attracts your attention. Then another, until you take a step back and realize you are going nowhere. The feeling of being suffocated starts to set in and you distract yourself from facing reality.
You’re not alone.
From small businesses to large corporations there is a shared nature that running a business is COMPLEX. With the evolution of social media platforms, new marketing tactics, and the ever-changing minds of our audiences. Meeting demands and navigating your way through emerging technologies is all overwhelming. When do you catch a breath?!
Recent studies show, 6 in 10 workers experience increased workplace stress (Global Organization for Stress). I can relate to carrying that stress into my personal day-to-day life.
Your business is suffering from complexity.
When there is complexity in your business processes it holds you back. It stops you from being completely involved in the moment of things. Or even the aspects and tasks you once enjoyed. You almost forget why you even started in the first place.
In return your work and business suffers. As customer service starts to become poor, the communication within your team and across all sectors starts to diminish. There’s no clear guidelines, goals or expectations. This becomes a problem, ignites frustration and overtime creates an inefficient business. Not only does it cause a negative growth trend but increases business expenses as well. The heightened stress levels cost businesses billions of dollars in lost productivity due to time taken off from stress related illnesses. The American Institute of Stress records $300 billion dollars annually are spent in the United States alone.
What causes Complexity?
Minimizing your stress levels is in direct correlation to minimizing the complex nature in the way you do business. According to Ron Ashkenas, the cause of complexity is the cumulative by-product of organizational changes, big and small. These changes create problems that are invisible in the way the work is done.
Complexity comes from all parts of the business processes. It takes a conscious effort to avoid becoming overwhelmed by complexity and to combat it when we are faced with it. What can you do to overcome this ‘complexity’ and help aid your business and ultimately your mind?
The answer is simple, S I M P L I F Y.
Here are 3 questions to simplify your business.
- What is truly essential?
- What is no longer serving me and my business?
- What am I gaining by letting go?
What is truly essential?
The first step to reframing your complex life and business is to ask yourself, what is truly essential? By focusing on the essential aspects of your business. And narrowing down your focus it will reduce stress and enhance your decision making. Evaluate the core of your business, your goals and the message you want your business to convey to your audience. Now, analyze your business, does it currently serve your core and the needs of your audience as simply as possible? Are you on track to accomplishing the goals you set out? Staying true to the core of your business and being in line with your goals will lead you on a path to simplifying.
What is No Longer Serving You & Your Business
Second, ask yourself, what can I get rid of right now? The key to answering this question is to keep your approach simple. Slowly minimize the things that are causing you stress and let go of the mindset that is holding you back from the life and business growth that you dream of having.
Review your customer/client feedback and the products or services that you provide. Put yourself in your clients’ shoes and go through the process of purchasing on your website or filling out a contract you wrote up; is the process simple?
Take notice of what you can make simple for your team, is communication clear, are guidelines comprehensible and are processes transparent? Opening up the conversation and engaging with your team through this process will provide you with perspectives that can ultimately open your mind to new ideas to simplify your business. This will also create a powerful ripple effect with your team, encouraging them to take initiative in correcting any issues or confusion. It’s no secret, companies with higher employee engagement see higher productivity. According to Gallup, engaged employees are also healthier and less likely to experience burnout.
Letting Go & Simplifying Your Business
Lastly, If you let go of the unnecessary and the non-essentials, ask yourself, “What am I gaining by letting go”? The process of letting go is powerful as it can lead to more growth opportunities that you didn’t think were possible. You may realize that letting go gives you the opportunity to gain more peace, more clarity, and more momentum to achieve your goals.
By making simplifying a priority it will encourage a more fulfilling work experience, less stress and allow you to arrive at your achievements with joy and pride.
Simple can be harder than complex: you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.