The minimalist movement is all about being more intentional, stripping away clutter, and creating more time, energy, and freedom for the things that matter most. Today I’m peeling back the curtain and sharing how I’ve implemented principles of minimalism in all aspects of my business. If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, or like you’re not able to be as productive as you’d like, you can try implementing some of these techniques to quiet the noise and focused.
Let’s get into it!
Create a Minimalist Workspace
It took me years (and giving up my office so the girls could have their own rooms) to realize how little I actually needed to run my business in terms of stuff. I scaled back from having an entire room filled with furniture, electronics, and supplies to a single tray that holds my laptop computer, headphones, webcam, and a notebook. This provides me with the freedom to work from literally anywhere and saves me time and energy since I have nothing to clean up at the end of the day! My single tray might be a little extreme, but if you apply an editing eye to your workspace and consider what you actually need to get everything done, you’ll find a lot of filler taking up space.
Say “No” More Than You Say “Yes”
As my business and platform has grown, more and more exciting opportunities have come my way, and I’ve had to get really comfortable saying “no.” I’m naturally a “YES!” person, but I’ve realized that every “yes” requires time and energy, and often draws my attention away from the things I value most, or things that will create more value for my business. It took receiving an actual crate of gummy vitamins that I had agreed to try and review, to make me realize I had to put some clear parameters on what products, collaborations, and other opportunities I accepted. Now I take the time to evaluate requests more thoughtfully, and I only move forward with opportunities that feel completely aligned with my mission, values, and brand.
Curate a Lean Team of Experts
The only employee in my company is me. This decision creates tremendous freedom and flexibility in my life and business. Over the course of my career, I’ve slowly, and intentionally, build my own incredible team of experts – all independent contractors who set their own rates and hours that work for them. I have hired people to help me with website design and maintenance, graphic design, photography, tech support, communication, bookkeeping, and business strategy and coaching. What I love most about this business model is that I get to work with, and support the business of, an incredible handpicked team of experts. I get the exact support I need when I need it – all while reducing overall operating costs!
Simplify and Automate
There are new tools developed every day to help simplify and automate business processes, and every efficiency you can implement frees up time and energy you can use for other purposes. I’m slightly (read: extremely) technophobic, so I tend to stay away from most of the shiny, new programs that come out, but I have found that even in the basic and free platforms I engage with, there are opportunities to create time-saving hacks. Example: I get tons of submissions from kind people who would like to write guest posts for my blog. I prefer to write all of the posts myself, so I’ve created a gracious “No thank you” canned email response that I can send in seconds with the click of a button. No more rewriting the exact same email hundreds of times! I’ve also automated all of my client communications including contracts and invoicing which saves me loads of time each week.
Streamline Your Offerings
There’s a little bakery near me that only sells fried chicken sandwiches and a handful of other simple baked goods. The bakery is only open for a few hours each day, and people line up around the block to grab a cookie and a sandwich before they sell out. And they ALWAYS sell out. They’ve been running a thriving business for years, and I love and admire the simplicity of their model: Only do a few things, but do them really, really well. Although it’s tempting to overcomplicate service and product offerings, and to try to be everything for everyone, I have intentionally made my home organizing and coaching packages as focused as possible. Instead of having multiple packages and price points, I have ONE eight-week coaching program and ONE day rate for on-site projects. This makes accounting and invoicing a breeze, and is easy for my clients to understand and budget for. A total win-win.
Cutting out the clutter and noise in my business allowed me to get focused and unlocked opportunities to scale that I didn’t know where possible. If you got really streamlined and clear in your business, what might you discover? Interested in launching or scaling your own small business? Click here to learn more about my business mentorship program for professionals. I’d love to help!
9 comments on “How to Run a Minimalist Business”
Such great tips! Thank you for sharing! I’ve always admired your streamlined business – it’s so helpful to get a glimpse into your minimalist strategy.
So glad you found it helpful! Xx
I love the automated “no thank you email” idea. Implementing that one immediately!
It is a game changer!
LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! And now I want to know the name of the fried chicken sandwich place.
So glad! And it’s Bakesale Betty 🙂
Love this !! I love all points you have mentioned here. In my case the NO will be to distractions and YES to focus. I plan to create a workflow of how I want to work and simplify it over time. I love the Bakery business model. It feels so clear and simple and so effective. Your own offerings are so simple, clear and excellent too.
I would like to know the name of the business that sells out every day, I think it should be franchised, and I can do that if it makes good business sense. Great blogs,
Thank you, Fran
The business is Bakesale Betty in Oakland – a gem! Thanks for reading. x