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Simplifying Your Business

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 10/25/2013

Complexity is a killer for young, growing businesses. The Young Entrepreneur Council offers several tips to help simplify your business before it gets out of control.

Fast growth companies often find themselves struggling to manage the complexity of their businesses and organizations. Through no fault of their own, these companies have raced to keep pace with their growth curves, performing new product development and creating marketing strategies at a rapid clip.

Business Complexity Versus Business Simplicity

There's nothing wrong with fast growth. But over time, large volumes of products and marketing elements can become disjointed, leaving a trail of chaos in their wake. And unless the organization gets a handle on the complexity of the business, it can become extremely difficult to achieve the next level of growth.

Recently, the Young Entrepreneur Council's Laura Roeder offered advice to business owners who are struggling to address the complexity caused by rapid growth. According to Roeder, these business owners need to focus on simplifying their companies in several important areas:

  • Products and Services. Fast growth companies typically make most of their revenues on a small number of products and services. If your product or service offerings include items that customers rarely buy, get rid of those items or services rather than allowing them to cloud your business model.
  • Promotions. Promotions and special offers pile up over time and create confusion for consumers. Since many promotions continue to live indefinitely online, it's important to clean up as many old promotions as you can, and create a process for closing new offers on a go-forward basis.
  • Spending. Recurring charges accumulate and are overlooked in spending forecasts. Take some time to really analyze your credit card statements and discontinue any recurring services that no longer provide value to your business.
  • Staffing. Like products and promotions, people have a tendency to accumulate in fast growth organizations, even if they are no longer providing real value to the company's bottom line. Ask team members to make a detailed list of the specific activities they perform and look for opportunities to streamline areas where responsibilities overlap.

Roeder added that simplification isn't a single event. By performing periodic simplicity audits, you can ensure that your business is focused and positioned for the next stage of growth.

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