People often ask me what I would add to their business if they decided to contract with me. The answer is usually a surprise. After observing a business operation, I generally find more to subtract than to add.
A man who was seen chiseling a rock into a beautiful horse was asked, “How do you make a sculpture of a horse?” The artist responded, “I simply chisel away everything that doesn’t look like a horse.”
This is good advice for any business. Start by looking for what can go away. Do you really need all of those steps to process an order? Must a customer go through that much trial by fire to have a defective item repaired? Is gathering all that data worth the $2,000-3,000 cost savings when you already know the source of the problem? Is having your sales force track every minute of every day worth the added burden to them when you already who is producing and who is not?
When a new process is added, two questions should be answered. First, what benefit do we get from doing this? Second, is there an easier way to do it? I suppose you could ask a third question. Is this worth the effort? (That really should be considered before wasting the time discussing the “how”)
Yes, even marketing is a subtractive process in the beginning. Start by removing unnecessary words and images from your website. Reveal the ….horse. Sales presentation? Cut the crap, get to the point.
Think of your business as that block of marble. Are you subtracting surplus rock to reveal the business within or are you struggling with trying to shape stone?