Thursday, September 13, 2012

Working Smarter: Encouraging Simplicity In Your Business

By guest writer, Evelyn Tate

working smarter blog: business simplicity
Have you ever heard of the saying “The Power of Simplicity?” Although the world is in full-swing of sophisticated technological advances, with a huge range of software, programmes, projects and funding streams designed to help motivate innovate activity within businesses, for many, simplicity is the key to a smarter more productive business.

According to psychological research on cognitive fluency, things that are easy to understand, are more profitable, more pleasurable, more intelligent and safer.

From wanting people to invest in your business plan, to seeking to attract a greater interest in your products or services and ultimately sell more, it is advisable to encourage simplicity in your business.

Write a short, concise and simple business plan

If you are a startup or even an established business wanting to attract new investors, endeavour to write a concise and straightforward business plan. To encourage people to invest in your idea, the prevailing principle is to keep your business plan simple and easy to read.

Think about it: potential business investors are likely to be put off by a complex overlook of an idea that is resonant of a doctoral thesis. As there is a tendency for investors to initially skim business plans, business consultants, Cayenne Consulting advises to keep a plan short, avoid using long and complicated sentences, likewise avoid jargon, buzzwords and acronyms, use bullet points to emphasis and prioritise points, use simple language that people can recognise easily and relate to, always proofread a plan to ensure that it is free of typos and mistakes they are likely to put potential investors off, and include a table of contents so that investors do not have to spend valuable time searching for certain data or information.

Keep websites simple and easy to navigate

In today’s digital era being online has become a practically imperative feature of business and commerce. Websites provide businesses with the opportunity to promote their goods and services to a global audience.

Although having said this, have you ever been on a website that is difficult to follow, in which complex pages that are brimming with information and features take a long time to upload? Complicated, time-consuming and fussy websites often encourage little more than for people to immediately leave the site and find another.

It therefore makes irrefutable business sense to build a website that is user-friendly, that is fashionable and well designed and that is equipped with new yet simple facilities of communication that will help your business to grow.

Having a blog on a website is a clever way to increase traffic and ultimately sell your brand. Although similar to a business plan, blogs or any other content on your website should be kept simple. Sites that are laden with fancy language and convoluted sentences which people find difficult to read and make sense of, do not make a business look clever. On the contrary, overtly complex writing has the opposite effect as it can put people off and make them hurriedly exit the site in favour of a simpler one. Keep language simple, sentences straightforward and inject a healthy balance of keywords into your website’s content.

Take on an Australian approach to business

Doing business in Melbourne is easy. This slightly bold and boastful statement was in actual fact made by the Australian Immigration Agency, which goes on to brag that Australia is rated number two in the world for the shortest time frames required to set up a business. Whilst Australians need just two days to set up a startup, Singapore requires three, and Canada needs five.

The reason behind Australia’s ultra-rapid startup time frame is primarily due to simplicity. Australia’s regulatory business framework has been ranked 13th in the world for ease of doing business. Unlike many of its European, Asian and American counterparts, Australia’s business environment is solid, straightforward and simple.

The data compiled by the Australian Immigration Agency contrasts significantly to the European business policy model. The Centre for European Policy Studies carried out a cross-Europe survey of 680 leading European business owners to find out what they really thought about the EU’s innovation policy, designed to help stimulate innovative activity across Member States. The striking results revealed that 82% of business owners found EU business policy too fragmented and complicated. The report concluded:

“A more streamlined and simplified system can deliver a market-driven innovation policy that will help catalyse growth.”

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Evelyn Tate is a business startup adviser who works closely with new companies, helping in areas such as attaining new business insurance and investment capital. Her contribution to Working Smarter is greatly appreciated

1 comment:

  1. I've always been interested in simplicity of systems and procedures because they are easier to train staff to use, are easier to track if something goes wrong, and are more efficient and effective. Why do something that doesn't need doing? Remember Occham's Razor ... Occham said that the easiest solution to a problem is probably the best solution and that we should look for the simple before the complex.

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