If you own and run a business, you would most likely balk at the idea that it’s a “simple” endeavor. After all, what’s simple about managing people, processes and all the unknowns of the marketplace?
Simple is not easy
One key element of sustainable business success is the ability to simplify. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s hard — but it’s worth it! The payoff? Fewer errors, quicker response, more consistency, lower costs, better customer experience, happier employees, more profit…and more fun!
When I introduce this concept to clients, I usually get push back. They say things like, “you don’t understand, we sell to the federal government,” or, “our business was simple at one time, but now…well, look at us!” Or one of my favorites: “try managing a workforce of at least 150 people with high turnover and then say the word “simple” with a straight face!” I love that one…and I get it!
There’s nothing simple about expanding entrepreneurial businesses. BUT, there’s always room to “simplify.” My clients work hard at removing unnecessary steps in their business operations.
Perfection is NOT the Goal
One key to simplifying is to understand the power of the 80/20 rule, i.e. identifying 20 percent of the steps that garner 80 percent or more of the results. In most cases, 100 percent is not required and takes too much time and resources to achieve. Yes, there are exceptions. Operating room procedures in hospitals or the landing checklist for flight operations are two that come to mind. But understand that most business operations contain too many steps that can be simplified and still guarantee the appropriate results.
Simplification is not a “one and done” endeavor. It takes time and is a continuous process. Commit to a culture of simplification and don’t be surprised when profits rise, customers rave and your great employees stick around!
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