Some business owners are offended by the question, “Is your business simple?” 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.
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 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!
One of the big secrets of Southwest Airline’s success is their decision to use only one type of aircraft, the Boeing 737. As VP of Ground Ops, Chris Wahlenmaier, explains in an article from The Economist:
“We only need to train our mechanics on one type of airplane. We only need extra parts inventory for that one type of airplane. If we have to swap a plane out at the last minute for maintenance, the fleet is totally interchangeable—all our on-board crews and ground crews are already familiar with it. And there are no challenges in how and where we can park our planes on the ground, since they’re all the same shape and size.”
It’s the simplicity of Southwest Airlines that people love so much.
Make no mistake; simplifying large, multi-pronged businesses like Google and 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 industry!
Learn more about how the EOS process can help you Simplify your company with a free 20-minute consultation.
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