Business owners are drinking from a fire hose right now. Every day brings a new government initiative designed to keep the doors open, and there is an endless flow of advice on how to operate your business during challenging times. While the focus has been on defence and risk mitigation, now is the time to shift to offence and revenue generation. The challenge now, with clients and prospects migrating online, is what to focus on first.
There is a lot to process and more questions than answers. How exactly do I bring in business? How can marketing help? How do I create online content? What should I be saying on social media? The game has changed, and your approach needs to change with it.
A few years ago, I was in a similar overwhelmed state when crafting FLM’s business strategy. There were a lot of moving parts and considerations in trying to identify what initiatives would yield the most immediate impact. At that time, similar to how we may feel now, I needed to simplify the complex to move forward. So, I built a framework designed to find the inflection point of efficiency and impact. It can be applied to any element of your business planning; in this particular case, it’s marketing. As you can see through my design skills, simple and effective doesn’t necessarily translate to perfect and polished…
The Simple and Effective mindset is an expansion-of-thinking exercise designed to create momentum and stimulate growth. We have a tendency to focus on simple initiatives because crossing something off our to-do list feels good. However, it is a false sense of productivity if we’re not moving the impact needle forward. In an environment where everything is important, this tool is meant to evaluate what will bring the greatest impact to your business with the least amount of resistance.
Complex & Ineffective: Get out now and delete the initiative from your mind!
Simple & Ineffective: This is fun, look at all the things I have accomplished! Wait, how do these align with my business goals?
Complex & Effective: This initiative is going to have a huge impact on the business, but it is going to take forever. Where do I even begin? Time to break it down further. The first step is clear and actionable (Simple & Effective).
Simple & Effective: Momentum is building, and while there is considerable effort involved to move these initiatives forward, it feels effortless!
Lee Iacocca used a similar thought process to help save Chrysler from bankruptcy in the 1980s, which led to the birth of the minivan. To build them, Iacocca used the technology behind the “K-Car” which was Chrysler’s top-selling line of fuel-efficient sedans. Iacocca adapted the winning formula to the production of The Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager minivans, using the same engine, drive train and parts. By the 1990s, Chrysler was to minivans as minivans were to suburban life. Talk about simple and effective thinking creating an everlasting impact!
If you find yourself inundated with options right now, just pause and allow yourself some space to think. Think about what is simple and effective. This framework will help you overcome feelings of being overwhelmed and paralysis-by-analysis by simplifying the landscape into immediate, impactful wins that build momentum.