“Minimalism is a mindset rather than a blind purge. If something is useful or pleasurable, you keep it. If it’s not, then you consider scrapping it.” – Paul Jarvis
Why a minimalist business is important
The most powerful thing you can do with your business is to create something that’s 100% true to your vision.
It’s incredibly easy to get caught up with all the advice out there offered by online coaches. Many of which is about growth and increasing revenue to high levels at the expense of your time and attention.
If instead, you were to craft an intentional business based on putting the value you bring to people’s lives first. You would then create something which not only sells itself but makes a real difference to the lives of your customers.
Minimalism is about reducing the additional unnecessary ‘stuff’ you don’t use or enjoy. This can be applied to more than just the things in your life, and in terms of business, this can apply to any of the following, including the:
- Devices you use
- The software you pay for
- Systems you’ve implemented
- Number of products/services you offer
- Number of social media platforms you’re on
- Processes you use to talk to customers
- Amount of time you spend on certain tasks
How wonderful would it be to create a simple business? With minimal overheads, you only use the software and processes you absolutely need and help make your life easier. You spend your precious time on tasks that give you something in return. You’re clear on your audience, you know exactly how to serve them and create tools and resources they will use and love.
It’s this last paragraph that has to lead me to create a plan for my intent to create a minimalist business of my own. The business in question is this one, SIMPLY ESSENTIAL LIFE.
How I intend to create a minimalist business
I’m part-way through my journey to creating a minimalist business and I’m going to tell you right now, it’s not easy. Making sure that each decision you make and each item you add to your to-do list is intentional, is hard.
To explain my process, I’m breaking it down into stages:
Define the intention of my minimalist business
Stage one of my process was to define the intention of my minimalist business. This is the most important stage because if you don’t get clear on why you want to start a business in the first place, then it’s incredibly easy to get lost along the way.
For this stage, I made sure to write down the reason why Simply Essential life and Berkana Woman exists, the problem it’s solving, and how I can bring about a solution. This was entirely people-focused and aligned with my values.
Understand my audience
You’ll see this point in many marketing articles – understand your audience. But most of the time, this advice is only surface-level. Understanding where your audience hangs out online, their generic problems and goals is one thing. But to truly understand your audience, it takes a little bit more than that.
I contact my audience directly and ask them questions. I also have an email series that asks subscribers to reply and talk to me in almost every email.
There’s only so much feedback you can get from Instagram posts and comment sections. But when you send a personal email or DM to someone in your audience (or someone who you’d like to be in your audience), you truly get to know them.
To break it down further, my plan has been the following:
- Email members of my list directly to get to know them.
- Spend more time directly messaging people than ‘liking’ their work.
- Interact with Facebook groups, other forums, and communities to have real conversations.
Alongside this, I’m keeping a note of the language my audience uses through messages, whatasApps, and in-person to make sure that when I’m writing or creating, I’m directly talking to them.
Keep it simple and then add if needed
This is where it gets hard. For a minimalist business to work, you need to keep it simple. If you have 5 products, 3 email opt-ins, 6 pieces of software you pay for each month and you’re on every social media platform going – it becomes unsustainable very quickly.
The idea of a minimalist business is to take your big idea (because I know it’s big) and pare it back to it’s the simplest form. After all, Facebook didn’t start at the size it is today.
My plan is to take my larger idea and strip it back to its simplest form. I’ll remove any need for software, completely reduce overheads and minimize to make sure that my time spent on it, is beneficial to create the best possible ‘product’ I can.
By working this way, you not only produce your offer faster, but you can also make sure it’s actually something your audience wants, without spending too much time and money on it. Although at this stage, you would hopefully know your audience well enough, that your offer should be a hit.
It means staying small when it makes sense to be small and only growing in areas where growth provides value to you and your customers. Growth isn’t inherently evil, but it comes at a price. And running a minimalist business is more about creating freedom in a manner that is inspiring and smooth.
My simply essential approach refocuses resources towards the most significant areas of a business, removing unnecessary processes and products.