Can You Simplify To Grow Your Business?

marketing strategy simplicityHave you ever wondered is there a better way?

Most of us have and I am sure your customers have thought the same thing.

Reading a very good article by Carmine Gallo on the Forbes blog titled Steve Jobs: Get Rid of the Crappy Stuff shows how simplicity can make a difference.

One sentence sums it up nicely “Your customers demand simplicity and simplicity requires that you eliminate anything that clutters the user experience”

Today we have more technology available, channels to network and communicate.

Customers have more choice, more information and a serious case of overload.

When millions of ideas  go through your heads to grow your businesses it is easy to forget about the advantages of simplicity and how to embrace it.

So in no particular order here are a few questions that could help you embrace simplicity for your customers, you and your business:

  • Can you reduce your pricing options so it makes it easier for your customers to choose and buy?
  • Can you show your price or price range to save customers contacting your business to find out?
  • Can you offer packages to stop spending time on proposals?
  • Do you really need comments to go to moderation on your blog?
  • Are all the features for your products or services essential?
  • How many blogs or newsletters do you really need to subscribe to?
  • Can you simplify your packaging of your product?
  • Are there steps you can eliminate on your website for customers to buy your product or service easily?
  • Are there any marketing tactics you can get rid of that are nice but not necessary?
  • Do you need to offer every type of product or service that you can possibly offer?
  • Can you package up your services based on understanding customers’ needs and desires, making choosing easier?
  • Do you need all the different types of technology applications or devices you have to run your business effectively?
  • Can you simplify your customer’s buying process of your products or services?
  • Are there opportunities to clean up the appearance and use of your website?
  • Do you need to try every new marketing tool or platform that comes onto the market?
  • Can you simplify your communication messages to one core promise to your key customers?

Getting rid of the clutter in your office or home can make a big difference in your life. So can embracing simplicity when marketing your brand.

I am sure you have tips that we can all learn from so please share them.

This article has been updated from when it originally appeared.

Are you interested in growing your business with simplicity. If you are, I can help. Click Here to see how. 

33 Responses to Can You Simplify To Grow Your Business?

  1. Susan- What a great article. You have a question, Do you really need comments to go to moderation on your blog. Sometimes you do get comments that that you do not want to publish. As your blog is seen, you will start to comments outside of your group and it is still necessary to monitor what is being written.
    Can you simplify your customer’s buying process of your products or services? This one was my number priority and I will continue to work on it as making life easier well in the end give more ROI.

    • Thanks Arleen. Unfortunately spam increases the longer you have a blog, even if you have an anti spam plugin. It is great simplifying the process has been a big priority and agree with you about making life easier and the ROI. As you do this let me know how you go and the results. Have a great weekend Arleen.

  2. You must have been reading my mind. I have been struggling with what to eliminate in my day to day activities with my blog, online presence, commenting etc. I can only do so much. I know… Duh!!! I have begun pairing down on subscriptions and commenting. I am going for more quality then quantity. To do that I need to identify the 20% that 80% of my results and then concentrate on that. That is easier said then done. 🙂

  3. Susan — your post is spot on. I’ve been cutting down on my subscriptions because I don’t have time to read everything. I dropped Pinterest because it’s not my audience and I had no time to post images. I know that sites like Triberr and BizSugar drive traffic but they’re off my list, too. I still receive 100 emails a day — mostly self-inflicted through subscriptions, Wall Street Journal updates, and the like — so I have a ways to go to simplify my life. One of my real pet peeves is Captcha which drives me wild. Don’t bloggers realize that after two or three tries a person will give up? It also causes negative feelings.

    • Hi Jeannette,

      Triberr is off mine as well. I read an article where the person said he spent an hour a day reading and /or scheduling articles in Triberr. I can only imagine what results he would get if he spent at least half of his time working on his business. Totally agree about Captcha and I won’t leave a comment if they have it as it complicates the whole process.

  4. Wow, I checked it out and I am very impressed! You’re right, the site looks genuine. And the information is great. I’ve compared with the websites of the actual insurance company and I get more or less the same thing, so that’s a good sign.

  5. I’m a big proponent of simplicity in all things Susan, but unfortunately in my line of work (real estate) that’s not always possible. Details are something we have to work with on a daily basis. The trick is to present all this data in a way that is not overwhelming or off-putting to our customers.

    • Hi Alex,

      Thanks for visiting and I am sure your clients appreciate your efforts as I can imagine it would be easy for clients to get overwhelmed.

  6. Hi Susan,

    Lots of food for thought here. My first thought was about payment processes so I would agree with @AnishKothari about simplifying the e-commerce checkout experience.

    The next one that really resonates with me, for both online and offline businesses, is packaging up services based on understanding customers’ needs and desires.

    I’ve found that by knowing their needs and budget for certain kinds of activities, you can simplify by offering them a menu (of packages and prices) that fits their palate.

    Thanks for the marketing advice!

    • Hi Vernessa,

      Thanks for your comment and you are right about offering them packages and prices. The thing i have seen with a number of these is they offer primarily the features or process and not a lot of benefits. Perhaps there is an opportunity to take it one step further and offer services as if they were products.

  7. Excellent article Susan. I got a lot out of reading Carmine Gallo’s article. The question that you asked that resonates the most with me is: “Is it necessary to be on every social media channel?”

    I’ve been spending some of my time recently on social networking sites like BlogInteract and Blokube but as of yet, I haven’t seen any results. I know I’ve connected on a deeper level with a few other bloggers but I can’t tie that into specific statistics to show that I’m actually driving any traffic through these sites. Having spent some time today on Google Analytics and after reading this post (and the article you linked to), it’s clear that it’s time I simplified some of my networking efforts. Thanks again.

    • Hi Sherryl,

      Glad you liked the Forbes article. I know you use the analytics really well. The one thing I would add is not only simplify and look at traffic, but take it a bit further and see which sites you get traffic that converts or leads to conversion.

  8. Agree with you completely Susan. Always simplify as much as I can. Actually get tired of people who complicate everything.

    Great list. A lot of people need to read it since the way they complicate everything is bound to have detrimental affects on them. Unless they are dealing with people who also thrive on complicating matters:-)

    • Hi Catarina,

      Some I guess don’t know they are complicating things and your last sentence is very true. Also perhaps they complicate because they don’t know how to simplify just like houses can be full of things because people are hoarders.

  9. Hi, Susan.

    I am trying to make everything simpler for my clients and readers now, but I still feel like there is something missing and I can’t seem to figure just what. Care to enlighten me? Is there something you can suggest for me? I’d really appreciate any help now. I’m so snowed under, I can barely squeeze time to visit my favourite posts anymore.

    • Hi Wes,

      I know this is general but sometimes we can get too close to our business. I can tell you I and many others have faced the same thing. There is not a one size fits all approach unfortunately. I will email you over the weekend as the one thing I was known for in my corporate days as a marketer was achieving more in less time.

  10. Hi Susan. There is NO question that the easier the purchase experience is, the more likely one is to get new customers and repeat customers. That includes, like you wrote, the different package options as well as the experience itself. I really like the way you weave in the role of living in a society of advancing technology and information overload into this equation. Not only does this make us forget to simplify our product/service, it also makes those processes that are NOT cluttered, even that much more attractive – a welcome change from the normal crazy world we live in, right?

    • Hi Julie,

      Thank you and it seems we live in the just add one more thing to our lives and think it will make it better but usually makes things more complicated. I do believe and (of course I could be wrong) that the businesses that simplify their processes, products or services will have thankful customers.

      I liked your post about mobile as it is important for small businesses to be aware of.

      • Ever think life would be much easier if we lived in the “Little House on the Prairie” times? Wait – did they have indoor plumbing? If not, forget about it! Re: my Mobile website post – I think eventually people are not going to have to leave their houses – they can live out of their phones! 🙂

        • Looked nice on TV but how could they go without hot showers and being able to wash their hair everyday? Agree with you

          Actually I wonder what the next step is after phones. Discussion topic for another day 🙂

  11. Wow! Stellar post, Susan! You know that I totally vibe with this one because I’m all about living a simpler life here in the Andes. =) However, I never thought that much about applying it to my business.

    I’m curious — do you need to log-in when you comment on the IntenseDebate system that Catarina and I have? I tested it out once and guests can just enter their name and email address. That’s not so bad, is it?

    You know what I would add? Simplifying blog posts too! I’ve read some long and drawn out blog posts recently and by the end, I’m totally lost. =P This is something I’m trying to apply to my own blog writing style — shorter and more concise posts. For longer posts, subheadings and bulleted/numbered lists really help too! =)

    Thanks for having me think about this, Susan! =)

    • Hi Samantha,

      Well the simpler life in the Andes seems be agreeing with you as your posts are fantastic to read, so I wouldn’t be changing too much. I don’t know much about Intense Debate but like you on Catarina’s blog I just used my email address which is fine with me. Others make you register which is a pain.

      Good point about blog posts and it is funny I am the same as you and wondered what it was actually all about. I also think it does depend on the audience and topic as some for example writers seem to love the long posts about content and copywriting. That said you are right about sub heads and lists as it just makes it easier to read. I don’t know about you but with so much information around about this I am surprised people still just show a big slab of words.

      • Wow! Thank you *so* much for your kind words regarding my writing, Susan! =)

        I’m so glad to hear that Intense Debate works easily and I totally agree about being surprised that people still write novels for blog posts sometimes! =P To each his own, I guess! =)

  12. Your post and questions present a great case for simple internet marketing. By focusing exclusively on why your customers visit your site and presenting them with a great user experience, you can definitely improve your online business. One tip would to create a hassle-free user experience. Like Paul mentioned, eliminate logging in to leave comments; for online stores I would eliminate requiring new users to register when they make a purchase and reduce the number of steps between adding to a cart and checkout.

    • Hi Anish,

      Good tip you added about registering to make a purchase. Never understood why they do it as it is a barrier for a customers. I agree about the number of steps and reducing the amount of forms to fill out helps as well.

      Thanks for adding your tips, it is appreciated.

  13. Hi Kim,

    Thanks for coming by and I like how you say simpler things have more taste and are more elegant. This is so true and you are not babbling. Many who provide services especially how they list their services for example don’t realise that they make it harder for customers to easily select them.

    Hope to see you back here and thanks for subscribing.

  14. Hi Susan,

    I put my comment system in automatic approval mode some time ago and it was the best thing I did! It saved me a lot of time and I rarely have a problem with it.

    Funny as when I first started my site it was full on busy; much like my life. 😉

    But over the course of several months I’ve toned it down and really simplified a lot of things and it really has made a difference. Including adding social sharing icons. I used to have 20+ showing… I know!

    Now I think of what’s the quickest, most effective way I can do something without over complicating it?

    Thanks for the sharing this wonderful post. There were a few things I still want to look into… nice reminder. 🙂

    • Hi Michele,

      That is great you have simplified and for some reason once you do it you do feel more in control and relaxed. I like your process of looking at the quickest, most effective way as I don’t think everyone does and life and business gets more complicated.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  15. Hi, Susan. Having to register to leave a comment totally kills the vibe for me. In my opinion, gearing your system to minority abusers really disenfranchises your majority fans. So I sure do agree with you on that point. Best regards, P. 🙂

    • Hi Paul,

      What they don’t understand is that although people who blog understand the system, newcomers say from a search don’t and it can stop a relationship developing before it even begins. I thought you would agree as you do everything to encourage your fans.