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Leading from the Core

Is Your Business SIMPLE?

Posted on November 7th, 2012 by Randall Taussig

Some business owners are offended by this question. They insist, “If it was simple, then anyone could do it!”

Perhaps they believe that simple understates the value of their companies, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Simple is often mistaken for easy. In truth, simplifying a business is hard. Really hard! But it can be worth every ounce of effort.

The French mathematician and philosopher, Blaise Pascal, once wrote, “I have made this letter longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter.”

To simplify something – whether it’s a message, a process or even a business plan – takes far more time, attention and thought than to just wing it. But the more focused and clear we can get, the easier we make it for our clients to decide that we’re the right choice.

Our customers don’t want to get caught up in the bureaucracy of complicated systems. They simply want to buy our products, but sometimes we make it difficult for them to do so.

Simple attracts loyal customers.

Some businesses have cracked the simple code. For instance, read this customer’s blog about her exceptional experience at Victoria’s Secret or this passionate tweet thread about working with Zappos.

Both companies have made it ridiculously simple to buy their products and they fix problems quickly, without the typical hassles and red tape associated with such transactions. We can’t help coming back for more. They have made it so simple that even a caveman could do it!

Simple reduces operating costs.

AirShares Elite, which provides shared ownership of high-performance aircraft for private pilots, also understand the value of simplification. I worked with this company for several years to help develop its metro-D.C. market … and as a private pilot who repositions their planes from time to time (check out the recent photo). 

It’s a tough industry, but AirShares remains strong while many of its competitors have gone out of business. Why? You guessed it: The ability and willingness to simplify.

While competitors offer a variety of aircraft with multiple types of agreements, AirShares offers only one (the Cirrus SR-22). Because it costs less to manage and operate just one type of aircraft, AirShares has a competitive advantage, one which has helped sustain the company during tough times.

Simple is relative.

Make no mistake; simplifying a large, multi-pronged business like Microsoft is a much bigger undertaking than simplifying Joe’s Hotdog Stand! However, with a little creativity and innovative thinking, most leaders can find opportunities to simplify the buying experience for their customers – and boost their bottom lines.

So, don’t be shy about “dumbing down” your business.  Your customers will love you for it, and you will likely gain a reputation for having the best-run business in your space!

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