I have seen my fair share of people who have grandiose plans to start a business and then fail immediately. Why is it that starting a business and keeping that business running is so hard to do? Follow along with me and let's discover why running a business is hard and start using these tricks to run a minimalist business and make it easy.
Business, in essence, is a habit. That sounds crazy, but as I listen to people who are way more savvy on the subject than I am, I realize it is true.
Business is a set of routine tasks that you do to produce an income. It cannot get much simpler than that. So if that is the case why do so many businesses fail?
You put short term goals in front of long term plans
Building a business takes nothing more than patience. In the beginning, things are going to be slow, and this is where most businesses fail. Depending on the amount of time you put into your business you can expect traction of anywhere from weeks, months, or even years.
The average business person gets a loan, buys equipment, markets the service and then makes a sale. There are several problems with this idea.
Number one you have no idea if a customer wants your product or service. The market might not have enough demand to be able to support your idea.
Number two you have to test the idea, and you just spent lots of money. That means you are starting off in the red before you ever begin.
Number three you are going through all of this and wasting time and money to determine if there is a sale. That is a scary place to be in because you have no idea if someone will buy.
So how does a minimalist solve this problem? The answer may surprise you.
The secret to run a minimalist business is focus
Too many start-ups and new businesses want to wait before they hire anyone. They are scared of the unknown. Their brain comes up with all the reasons why they should wait before hiring. This is a mistake.
A real business owner most likely does one thing well then they outsource the rest. This advice is the single piece of most valuable information in this article, and it bears repeating. [clickToTweet tweet="Smart businesses outsource things they are not good at so they can focus on what they do best." quote="Smart businesses outsource things they are not good at so they can focus on what they do best."]
I have a friend whose mother owns a restaurant. She hired her daughter to design her a website to keep cost down. I offered to do the website for her but she did not want to pay any money and as such their business is currently failing. This mentality is all throughout her business, and it is sucking the life out of it.
Before you do anything in business, you should try to make a sale
Most new age business books will tell you if you do not have sales you do not have a business. Think about the popular show Shark Tank, how many people try to get investment without any sales to back it or worse yet they have sales, but they sell to cousins, family, and friends. This is no way to test a business.
A business needs to survive without you begging your circle for money to make an idea work. Apple computers did not make Apple booming because they made family buy it, they created a product that the market demanded. People forget that without a market, you do not have a business.
Before you ever do anything related to business cards, websites, logos, or even registering your business, you need to test. Will people pay you to do what you specialize? If not how can you position your product or service so that the market demands it?
Seth Godin, a favorite small business book writer, wrote a book called the Purple Cow. In the book Seth made a point of sharing that brown cows (aka start-ups) were all the same, it takes a purple cow to make people stop and look.
Sometimes this involves, cutting things out, changing things, making things more convenient, making this less convenient, making things simple, making things complex, positioning things to a different demographic, are just a few of the things you can do to stand out.
As someone pointed out a long time ago when you go to see your regular doctor you expect to pay regular prices. When you go to see a specialist, no one expects to pay regular prices and yet these two people are the same at the core. The difference is one of them has an expert in an area of study that gives them more knowledge.
You try too many different tactics at one time
Too many small business owners are bombarded with the thought that by doing several different marketing tactics at once, it will generate substantial amounts of business. This is simply not true.
Running Facebook ads, advertising on Pinterest, Google Adwords, Bing Adwords, Snapchat, Twitter and everything in between are examples of distraction marketing. You do them because they make you feel good, but at the end of the day, they rarely create traction.
You have to focus your plate spinning to one plate before moving on to other plates. Stop trying to do everything (unless you are willing to pay people to run things for you) and focus on one thing. Attention is not about tricking people into trying you; it is an emphasis on the right people at the right time.
A business that offers the cheapest pricing all the time will likely fail. A company that takes every client that comes to their door will probably fail. A business that tries every marketing tactic in the hope of drawing new business, yup will fail.
We are often too worried about the how instead of doing the task
There are hundreds of thousands of ways to create a website. Our customer base wants affordable web design for a small business. They are not looking for how we create the designs we create.
When a business drills down and focus on the customer rather than peers or impressing others they create. It is straightforward to fall into the trap of trying too many things are over complicating a service or product.
I will tell you a funny story. I once knew someone who was named Byron. He was a smart guy who worked a full-time job while running two or three other businesses. He told me he ran a car wash and I was blown away, how do you have time for maintenance and upkeep? What about making sure it does not get robbed or broken into? He smiled and said, you see that hose and bucket?
Sometimes we as humans are forced to overcomplicate things that do not need to be overcomplicated. Byron taught me a precious lesson that day; there is more than one way to complete the same task.
So stop trying to buy software, stop saying you need equipment. What is the ugliest, not cost effective way to make your product or service work? Going through the process will be the single easiest way to learn from what you don't know. It's not complicated to run a minimalist business, it just requires you cutting things out.