Applying The Principals Of Minimalism To Your Small Business

Applying The Principals Of Minimalism To Your Small Business

The concept of minimalism is in vogue right now due to factors that have shaken the very idea of the “American Dream” to the core. The 2008 financial crisis that nearly took down the entire global economy was a wakeup call to senior citizens and millennials alike that everything can change in a blink of an eye.

What do you when you are 65, and you discover that your entire life savings has been wiped out because of financial mismanagement on Wall Street? How do you recover from that? The stock market wiped out 2 trillion in retirement savings in 15 months during the initial phase of the crisis.

The average worker who spent 20 years at a job lost about 25% of their nest egg. Most retirement accounts never recovered from the shock.  What this meant that for most Americans was staying in the workforce longer or experiencing a lower quality of life.

In addition to the financial crisis of 2008, throw in excessive student loan debt into this whole situation. Students today are graduating with staggering levels of debt and terrible job prospects. The average student loan debt for a four-year degree is a whopping $49,905.

The unemployment rate for millennials between 20-24 is hovering around 7.3 percent. While not as bad as it was during the great recession when 48% of the unemployed were millennials, it still not as good as the overall national unemployment rate of 4.3 percent.

Increasingly shut out of the labor market, young, driven professionals have decided to start their own companies instead of waiting around wasting their God-given talents.  In fact, 30% of millennials have started a small business versus 22 percent for Generation X.

When life hands you lemons you make lemonade right? Being purposeful, persistent and prudent is at the core of entrepreneurship and minimalism. How can you apply the precepts of minimalism to your small business?

Applying minimalist concepts to running your small business will help you focus on what is important, your customers.

In order to incorporate minimalism into your small business ask yourself the following questions.

Why Did I Start My Small Business?

Do you remember why you started your small business? Was it to escape the daily grind of the 9-5? Did you want to be your own boss or simply need more flexibility in your life? While these are excellent reasons to strike out on your own, one thing is missing.

Did you notice that I didn’t mention providing customers with high-quality products and services? For most small business owners this is simply a given that is not even really talked about. This should not be overlooked because it is the customer that makes the business. Without them, businesses could not exist!

A minimalist philosophy forces you to look inward and really find the passion and the core reason for the existence of your business.

What Is The One Problem That My Business Is Trying To Solve?

The problem with most small businesses today is they try to do too much. Offering services that you know can not be completed with skill, and expert craftsmanship is a recipe for disaster. Providing poor service will ruin your business reputation and damage your bottom line in the long run.

Use minimalism to eliminate services that truly do not serve the core interest of your customers. Sure it might be hard to let go of some of those sales in the short-term, but you will make up for it in the long-term. By offering one or maybe two core services that you know can be performed at a high-level consistently will pay off with increased word of mouth sales.

Consumers will reward businesses that know their stuff and are passionate about the products and services that they offer.

Minimalism helps you discover what core services you should provide to your clientele. Minimalism helps you acknowledge that you can’t be all things to all people. Focus on that one problem you are trying to solve in the marketplace.

Is There A Way To Run My Small Business Using Minimalism?

You will naturally run into this question when you start applying the precepts of minimalism to your business. Minimalism helps you discover inefficiencies in your business operation. You will be surprised at what you can find once you go through your expenditures with a fine tooth comb.

Do you really need 20,000 business cards? You are spending how much on post-it notes!? You get the idea! Minimalism helps you trim the fat around your business, so the only thing left is a business that is lean, mean and profitable.

Concentrate on tools that provide you with the most bang for the buck. If it’s email marketing that brings in the most customers, hone your skills and get even better at it. If it’s word of mouth marketing that gets people to your business focus on encouraging your customers to share the good word about your business.

Minimalism is all about focusing on you and what is truly important to you. Don’t be afraid to make changes to help your business grow.

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