Keep it Simple to Succeed

By Andy Kocemba

For many of us, 2020 ranged from puzzling to incredibly damaging.  Regardless of where you fell on that spectrum, if you were a business owner in 2020, you felt stress and a need to evaluate what you were doing and how you were doing it.  We were forced to take Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why” concept to a whole new Covid-19 extreme.

So often in these situations, our thoughts wander to, “What else can I be doing?”  We look to add services, develop new products, or make existing products and services stand out by highlighting all the bells and whistles. We live in a silver bullet society where we want the answer to our struggles to be the “one more thing” I can add to achieve perfection. 

The problem with this line of thinking is that it can muddy the waters, diluting the product or service that your business was originally built around, confusing customers, employees, and decreasing overall effectiveness.  In other words, exactly the opposite outcome you want during a pandemic fueled economic downturn.

My solution: Keep. It. Simple. 

  1. Keep it simple in your goods and services: Don’t be a “Jack of all trades, master of none”.  It serves no one for you and your business to be mediocre at multiple things. Instead, be excellent at the one thing your business does.  By focusing on doing one thing well, you bring clear purpose and efficiency to your team, empowering them to be more successful than you imagined. 
  2. Keep it simple in your messaging:  Are you a fan of instruction manuals? Me neither.  Nobody likes things to be more complicated than they must be.  Think about your brochures, website, and other marketing tools. Are they over-complicated? Do you feel the need to justify your pricing or to one-up the competition by making your product or service perplexing to the customer? Trust in your ability to do it well.  When my car breaks, I will choose the mechanic who simply tells me what’s broken and promises to fix it, not the one who tries to confuse me to appear smart.  That’s a no-brainer.
  3. Keep it simple in your internal operations: Look at your overall operations to make sure it’s all needed.  Look at each employee and determine that they are fully utilized.  Outsource those services you can, both to capitalize on outsiders’ expertise, and to keep manage the load you put on your own employees.  The goal is to have your business run as a well-oiled machine, and the path to get there is simplicity.

I like Gordon Ramsey. It makes me laugh watching him blow a gasket. On his Kitchen Nightmares TV show, he visits failing restaurants to help turn them around.  One of his favorite targets - the 10-page menu.  He cuts the menu down to a manageable number of signature dishes so the kitchen staff can maintain quality, customers know what to expect, and business success soon follows. 

Be like Gordon Ramsey and successful businesses.

Keep. It. Simple.


  1. If you want your business to succeed, be excellent at one thing.
  2. Nobody wants things to be more complicated than they need to be.
  3. Resist the urge to add bells and whistles. Get back to basics.