“Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.”
I love simplicity! It’s my favorite of the Frugal Business Secrets, and I find myself thinking about it more and more as I work.
If you haven’t developed the habit of thinking “simplicity,” you might change your mind by the end of this article.
You’ll learn what simplicity is, and why it’s a wonderful way to work on your Frugal Business. You’ll also see how simplicity can save you both time and money, as I explain my latest simplification project.
Simplicity is frugal. Simplicity is cutting out the extras, the unneeded, and getting to the core of what’s essential. A simple Frugal Business costs less. Saves you money. Saves you time. And simplicity is somehow satisfying. Getting rid of the clutter makes me feel better.
Having a mind-set of simplicity is important because:
#1. Simple makes it easier to Do-It-Yourself.
I’m always looking for easier ways to do things so I can do them myself quickly. I’ve struggled with ActiveCampaign because it’s complex. As I’ve written before, I’m hanging on to it because I know it will work better when things get more complex.
Take your website, for example. Setting up a website is complicated. If you are working smart as you start your business, you may try to do it yourself. Keeping that website simple will get you started faster and with less time spent in frustration.
If you don’t have to struggle with a complicated website, you can focus on getting and keeping customers, which will bring you more money, which will give you more money so you can afford to hire someone to make you a better website.
#2. Simple is easier on the eyes.
People like simple messages. Let’s take the example of images in email newsletters.
Have you wondered about putting images in your email newsletters? People love images. Email newsletters are just like other types of marketing and marketing means images. Images are more attractive than text, but they come at a price.
I read a lot of email newsletters and I’ve discovered that most of them don’t have images. If images are so great, why not use them?
This article from Comm100 says,
most end-users won’t see the images and graphics you embedded. As an added bonus, embedding images in email often get you sent to the spam folder.
#3. Simple saves both money and time.
Let’s continue with the images-in-email-newsletters example above. Images are expensive, unless you use free images. But it’s an extra step and time to find images, make sure you attribute them correctly, size them down (I use tinypng.com – it’s free) so the large images don’t slow down your website.
Yes, I use images on my website, but not in my email newsletter, except for my heading.
Even simple things can be expensive. And I’m not advocating you buy cheap things to avoid spending money. I’m asking you to consider whether the thing is necessary for the success of your business. Really, truly, absolutely necessary. Essential. If it isn’t essential to the success of your business, save yourself some money.
#4. Simplicity helps you get your message across more easily.
A simple message is easier to understand and to see. PowerPoints are a great example of this. I have used PowerPoints for years in my teaching, and I’ve tried to teach others how to make them simple. No more than six lines, only one image, and a simple uncluttered background will add to your presentation.
#5. Simplicity keeps your mind uncluttered.
Cutting out the clutter in your day is a great way to simplify. I have stopped almost all of the email newsletters I receive. Yep, I’m going cold turkey. Except for two: Amy Lynne Andrews’ Useletter and Jane Friedman’s Electric Speed (digital tools and resources for authors).
6. Simplicity is faster.
It takes less time to do something simply than to do it the complicated way. If you are leaning something new and complicated, you have what’s called a “steep learning curve.” If you keep it simple, you can accomplish more in the same time.
#7. Simple makes you more nimble.
Since simple is less costly and takes less time, you can react more quickly to financial and work challenges. Having the extra cash and time means you can pick up a new client or product more easily or take advantage of an offer to appear on a podcast or write something special for someone.
My Mission to Simplify
I woke up this morning to find that I had been charged $151.28 for my Adwords campaign. That may not seem like a lot to some of you, but when I haven’t seen any results from that campaign, it makes my crazy. So I went on a “Mission to Simplify.”
First, I went to my business bank account and looked at all the stuff I’ve been spending. I went through each item and asked, “Is this expense really necessary? If so, is there a cheaper and simpler way to get what I need?” Here’s my initial list:
Backblaze online computer backup. $5 a month. Yes, it’s worth it. Cheap at twice the price.
Dropbox file storage. I work off several computers, and having everything in Dropbox is a huge benefit. At $10 a month, it’s worth it.
Speaking of Canva, I recently upgraded from the free plan to the “Canva for Work” plan ($12.95 a month) because I can set up my own branding with colors and fonts. This saves me money from having a designer do the branding work. So I decided to keep this one.
Hootsuite and Buffer for scheduling blog posts. I have the free version of Hootsuite, which only allows me three social media sources and doesn’t include Pinterest, so I added Buffer to get Pinterest. Buffer is $10 a month. I decided not to go back to the free version of Buffer, but to spend some time figuring out how to use the higher-cost version.
SumoMe. I upgraded to the Pro version of SumoMe (it adds popups to my website). But I’m not sure it’s worth it right now. I’m going to either learn how to use it better or go back to the free version for a while.
ActiveCampaign. I upgraded to the second level ($49 a month) version of this email newsletter program a while ago, so I could get the higher level of support. Now, I’m going back to the lowest level ($9 a month). I have everything I need set up right now.
The Savings from Simplicity
After I finished this Simplicity Mission, I added up the savings for cutting out some of the expense and clutter. I saved $288 a month. That’s money I can spend on an editor for my next book, or to pay off my credit card debt. And my business life will be so much simpler.
To start simplifying your business:
- When buying, look for the simplest design. Simple things don’t break as easily.
- When considering a problem, consider the simplest solution.
- Look at your business expenses. What spending can you cut? What don’t you need to run your business right now?
- What tasks can you cut to simplify your day?
- What clutter can you eliminate? How many of those emails are really necessary?
- Every day, eliminate something unnecessary from your business.
Learn more about how to simplify your business. Start with a free copy of “7 Secrets to Growing Your New Frugal Business” and more money-saving and time-saving tips.
Here’s to the Success of Your Frugal Business!