It’s Hardly Simple

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The more complicated you make your business the more complicated your business will be. The more complicated you make your business, the less business you will do.

Seems simple enough doesn’t it? But the reality is that way too many businesses lose sight of that fact and it costs them customers because of it. Almost everyone is familiar with the age old acronym KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid – but in our drive to be “better” or “improved” keeping it simple isn’t that simple at all.

Smart business people know that complicated is often not better. We can make it so hard for a customer to do business with us that they won’t. We develop “policies” and “procedures” to improve our service but to many customers these are just barriers and hoops they need to jump through if they want to do business with us.

The fewer policies we have, the less rules to follow, the easier it is for a customer to do business with us.

Never implement a rule or policy without knowing exactly why that policy is needed and without knowing exactly how it impacts a customer. You should also know that YOU have no real idea how it impacts a customer until you ask them. No matter how hard we try, we’ll never really see our business the same way a customer does so ask them.

If you’re hoping for a long life for your business then here’s one more important point: never, never, never assume a post like this was intended for someone other than you.
The moment you think “our policies are all good, all useful, all well thought out” you are in trouble. I would encourage you to reexamine each and every one of your policies and procedures and ask yourself why they are there and if they help or hinder a customer trying to do business with you.

By the way, policies don’t just sometimes make it hard for customers to do business with us, they can also make it hard for people to work for us. The most innovative companies in the world also tend to have the smallest policy manuals around. Remember, the more you limit your people in some ways, the more you limit your people in every way.

Get that policy handbook, HR manual, whatever your company calls it, get it out and shrink it today. Once it’s shrunk it will work hard to grow again so review it often, it like a bush, it always looks better right after it’s trimmed!

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