Simplicity has value because time is our most precious resource. The simpler something is, the faster we can understand it and make a decision about it.**
When I see a business that has a simple, easy-to-understand concept, I can quickly assess its value to me and whether I’m going to buy-in or not. On the other hand, if a business has an overly complicated concept, I might become unsure about its focus and what it actually does. At the very minimum this will delay my decision to buy in, at the worst, the complexity would deter me completely.
In this series, we’re going to look at making our businesses simpler. But why should we want to simplify our businesses? The motivation for decisions in our business should always be the same: sustainably serving others. So, for this series, I offer this as our core motivator:
To serve customers excellently by saving them time, mental energy and potentially money.
Now that we have our motivation clear, let’s focus on today’s task - simplifying our offerings.
Making decisions is exhausting. And it takes time. The easier and faster the decision, the better. What is one way to make decisions easier? Decrease the options.
So we can serve our customers better by making our offerings simpler. Maybe you have a fully customizable service right now. That may serve some of your customers well, but others may appreciate a tiered service or preset packages.
A while ago, I was making wedding cakes for friends and family. During the planning process, I would ask them so many open-ended questions to make sure I was making exactly what they wanted. I soon realized that the questions themselves were a burden. It would have been much better if I had some preset ideas written down and let them choose between them.
Think about when you go to a restaurant - sometimes you want to build your own burger and sometimes you just want to defer to their best seller. Having pre-packaged options saves customers time and mental energy. An great example of this is the Blaze Pizza menu. It offers a simplified concept with preset “signature” pizzas as well as a build-your-own feature. This allows customers to easily select a signature option or decide if they want to put in the extra effort and build their own. Not only does this simplified concept serve the customer well, it also allows a streamlined process for those serving customers.
The most gratifying work we can do is that which serves others. So let’s examine our offerings and thoughtfully package up some options for customers. It will serve customers by saving them time and mental energy. And if we complete the service well, I think they’ll be more likely to come back too…
**Note this thought process shouldn’t be applied to people. We are not simple. We are complex wonders that shouldn’t be treated as simplified objects to be used. Simplifying people --> dehumanizing and/or stereotyping --> devaluing others
For more on simplicity: