“That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. 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.”
– Steve Jobs
No brand has executed the “simple is more” ideology better than Apple Inc. If you asked your child what this billion dollar corporation’s logo was they would answer, “an apple with a bite taken out of it.” Would you have ever guessed that logo would be successful? A simple logo, yet one of the most universally well-known images. Apple Inc. has simplicity implemented at the base of every product, every advertisement, and even in their packaging. In fact, one of their main selling points is the user-friendly, simple design of the products.
There is clearly a key lesson here that businesses are missing. Life is already complex enough, give your customers real, simple solutions that offer ease and deliver the results without the 50-page handbook filled with useless, time-eating steps to reach the goal.
As I said above, life can be pretty complex. Most of us balance jobs, with family, with friends, with hobbies, with errands… and I could go on. By the end of the workday, your free time is mostly used for sleep and other necessary tasks. As a society, we have adopted the mindset that busy is better when in reality, we can experience the same amount if not more business success in far less time than we spend. With this said, the consumer will not waste any more time than they have to. If you have a 5-minute sales pitch, you have lost their attention, if your article has zero images and takes up an entire page, they aren’t reading it, and if trying to understand what your business does takes a team, you will not land the customer.
They say time is money, but it is quite clear that these days, little time means more money. So do your best to be concise, get to the points that are powerful and the purchaser will trust you with the steps in between to get to their desired result.
The 21st-Century consumers hate to waste time, but also, they just hate to wait. You can’t blame them, it is simply the result of what we have been given and are now used to. Waiting in line has become optional as applications have been made to order ahead, looking up a word in the physical dictionary is unheard of, and what even is that big yellow book in the hotel room drawer? People want a solution or a product and they want it fast. Everything else is instant, so in their mind, your services should be too.
Check to see if your website speeds are fast, ensure that a customer is helped or spoken to when walking through the door, save the irrelevant conversation for the coffee shop unless they initiate it. Being a kind, caring employee says a lot, but that does not entail your life’s story. Efficiency is the new, modern currency. Be efficient without sacrificing quality and you will “move mountains.”
Shout out to all my Type A’s out there. We appreciate your strategic planning, the intricate steps you have implemented with every element of the business to have its place and time. Organization is key to any successful business, HOWEVER, I have to say that sometimes we add more obstacles for ourselves than help. With too many steps, too many rules, and too many departments, what could be an A to B process becomes an A to F process whereby you lose the original desire of the customer altogether.
No one enjoys reading the 100-page instruction manual. Talking about the all the different ways in the world you can reach the goal instead of actually working to achieve it, is detrimental to your business. Save your time, save your money, save your resources and have a system with a few rules tied to basic objectives and that is all you need!
Take some time to really evaluate your business and determine if you have certain protocols that are just unnecessary and take up your valuable time. Give yourself a break and see where simple will send you.