Business Tips Articles

Simplicity Is Best

As an industry, perhaps even as a society, we have a ton of information, tidbits, and insight. The coatings industry has so much information that many of us are frankly overwhelmed. Some of us can’t get anything done that doesn’t have a deadline on it.

So what can we do to change that? How can we improve how we work, the quality of our products or services, or even our quality of life? Would you believe it’s not adding one single thing to the conversation?

Let me tell you what doesn’t improve our industry or your life one bit.

  • Reading every latest management tip on LinkedIn.
  • Clicking on every “5 Best Ways to Do Things Faster” blog in a frenzied scavenger hunt for the next best, faster, or easier thing.
  • Making our business so complicated that organizational paralysis sets in.
  • Having hour-long meetings with so many directions that everyone ends up lost.

The Power of Simple

It’s my belief that “simple” improves things. We can improve our industry by simplifying, and constantly fighting what overwhelms us. Simple is powerful. Here are a few ways to simplify your business and, therefore, your life:

Simplify  your meetings. Shorten it up and make the core message über clear.

  your to-do list. Only write down two things at a time, but list the three steps necessary to accomplish each one.

  your product offering. Focus on core customers and be the best in that segment.

  training people. Fight the one thing that costs you the most money and train that one issue every day until you hear it repeated back to you.

Can you see now how less can be more efficient?

Why Simple Works

My family loves Jigsaw puzzles. My grandmother was always “puzzling,” as she called it and passed it to my mom, and I have passed it on to my kids. Did you know there are simple puzzles (kids’ puzzles with 10 pieces), 500 pieces puzzles, even up to giant 2,000 piece puzzles?

Which one do you think is easier? Which one do you think is faster? Which one will you not see as hours of monotony and boredom? The easiest, fastest, most fun ones are the ones with the biggest, fewest pieces — the simple ones.

We are mentally wired to be efficient. If something looks difficult, we put it off for later. If things are complicated, we procrastinate until there is a “better time.” If you’re not making things simple for yourself and others, you are losing them.

Simple works because we process and remember big chunks of information quickly and easily. Detailed information gets glossed over in an effort to preserve mental resources. You will ignore a long to-do list or a verbose salesperson just because it seems energy-intensive. People like simple, so make it simple.

Too Complicated?

Are you losing your people or your customers because you’re making things too complicated? I guarantee it. Complexity is a trap, and it kills efficiency.

When you get your training, meetings, to-do lists, sales pitches, or product line to the point where you’re saying, “Wow, this is too simple,” you’ve nailed it. Watch your communication and production efficiency take off.

I encourage you to start living the mantra of simplify today. Let’s all go make our industry a better place for you and everyone else.

About the Author:

Travis LeFever, MBA, entrepreneur, and NACE Instructor, owns a construction/consulting company specializing in concrete rehab, coatings, and sealants. LeFever also coaches construction executives and is a motivational keynote speaker. He lives in Greensboro, N.C. For more information, contact: Travis LeFever, (239) 292-3750,

comments powered by Disqus