Minimalism is a lifestyle characterized by the pursuit of simplicity and freedom from possessions and consumerism.
Business minimalism is not a choice. It is imperative.
Simplifying and streamlining all aspects of your business and practicing minimalism will not only help your business to become more efficient but it will improve your profits and sustainability. Minimalism will fuel growth and help you to expand your business.
There are many ways you can practice minimalism in your business. The only criterion that defines minimalist systems is the simplifying or streamlining impact they have.
Let’s explore some possibilities where you can practice minimalism while running your business.
Your Business Model
If you own your own business you have a remarkable opportunity to create real change in the way you get your work done and open up opportunities for freedom. Not only financial freedom but the freedom to do things your way – smarter, better, more efficiently.
Consider these LEAN options
- An Online Business
- A paperless office
- Use of cloud-based tools for data sharing, storage, research, scheduling etc.
- Outsourcing of regular tasks that fall outside your skill-set, or, need to be done but do not add value or profit.
- Systemising tasks that take you a lot of time or frustrate you
Smart systems form the basis of Business minimalism. Systems use strategy and efficiency to realise the mantra – “Work smarter, not harder”. Once your systems are in place they should require minimal effort to maintain and be as automatic as possible.
However, don’t fall into the “set and forget” trap – build in reviews to ensure you’re keeping up with any changes across your business and industry.
BENEFITS OF SYSTEMS
- Systems can grow your business. The overriding impact of a system is that it can cause a business to grow. Instead of reacting to crises, you can proactively address growth hurdles. When you implement the right systems, you create for yourself both more time and mental freedom. With this time and mental energy, you can work to grow your business instead of burying yourself in busywork.
- Systems save time. A simple system, once created and acted upon, can save hundreds of hours each year.
- Systems dodge problems. In business, small problems can eventually lead to massive ones. Putting systems in place can successfully deal with small scale problems, thus avoiding looming future problems.
- Systems improve productivity. Improving your business isn’t just about saving time. It’s about using the time you have to the greatest possible advantage. That’s the power of productivity.
Time to implement a system? Time for PDCA….
You can opt for simpler signup forms on your website and just ask for an email address for newsletter sign ups instead of the extensive details of full name, phone number or company details.
When you opt for simplifying such crucial aspects of your business, you are facilitating greater conversions, streamlining the processes and you will see an impact on your bottom line.
Simplyfying your Finances
Accounting or bookkeeping is a quintessential requirement of every business. From invoices to profit and loss statements, taxes to considering the various deductibles, there are numerous aspects of business accounting.
You can adapt practices or systems that will simplify phases of the accounting process. There are many online, cloud-based accounting options to try. They run from simple to more complex depending on your needs. Some examples include
Syncing across devices ensures transactions and access to resources is consistent, allowing you and your staff to get work done faster and more efficiently. If you spend several hours every week or month compiling all your invoices, assessing profit or loss and other repetitive tasks then automation makes sense. These tasks don’t really have an impact on the actual profits. These are chores you don’t have to spend time on.
Business minimalism can be practiced in all forms.
Turn Off All Notifications – focusing on one task at a time, working in silence to improve concentration
Get Rid of the Old – when you upgrade, or no longer have a use for something – get rid of it.
Reduce your Overhead – Take a hard look at all your expenses (rent, phone, internet, office supplies, insurance, etc.) and think about what you really need to run your business. Reduced overhead = increased profitability
Do what Works for You – Strip it back. Don’t be swayed by your competition and the next best shiny thing – work towards your goals and keep focused on your whys.
These and, encouraging employees and partners not to lose sleep over unnecessary or inconsequential tasks but to work towards the targeted objectives to achieve your business mission are all different ways to practice minimalism.
The Minimalists – their post on Mimimalism is a great start
Becoming Minimalist – Joshua Becker
Zen Habits – Leo Babauta
The Minimalists Guide to Owning a Business
Applying Minimalism Principles to Your Business
How To Create Business Systems That Will Automate And Streamline Business Growth