I visited my Dad over the weekend and asked him how he was going. His reply…. “You know me Tam … I’m a simple man. As long as I have my phone calls from you and my catch ups with Toby (my brother), I’m happy! I have my chooks for eggs and my sheep for company. Hey the sheep even mow my lawns which is a pleasant bonus”.
My Dad lives alone on a farm in a little town called Dublin. He has no power (only a generator), no kitchen (just a sink and a bbq). His water comes from the rainwater tanks and he eats veggies from the veggie patch and almonds from his trees. We gave Dad a really nice deck chair for Christmas (cup holders and all), but he still insists on sitting on a plank of wood propped up with besser bricks.
My Dad and I couldn’t be more different. I love my creature comforts and I have a terrible habit of over complicating things. However, whenever I see Dad, it grounds me and reminds me that we really should take a simpler approach to life. It gives me comfort to see how simple things can be, yet you can still be so happy. In fact, he is quite possibly much happier than many of us who insist on having the best of everything and over committing ourselves both in time and financially.
So what has this got to do with business? After seeing my Dad this week I went back into one of my businesses where we are currently re-developing our Website. I channeled my Dad (surely some of his genes are in me somewhere) and decided to get back to basics and keep things simple. I culled half of the ideas I had for the site and completely pulled it back to basics. Sometimes too much information just causes confusion to our clients. Now we are developing a simple, clean site that reflects our brand, our values and we will be finished it in half the time. Sometimes I think we innovate for the sake of innovating. We change things because we feel we need to keep up with what everyone else is doing, but maybe … just maybe, if we pull back to the basics, clients will flock to us.
I challenge you to ask yourself the question:
What if we did business just as we did 10 years ago?
When I asked myself this, I was confident that my clients would enjoy the experience. Keeping it simple. Phoning clients and writing letters instead of emailing, having face to face meetings, hand writing thank you’s and most importantly, treating your after sales service as the most important part of the transaction. Would we become more memorable? I think so….
So thank you Dad. I plan on reviewing many processes in my businesses with the attitude of keeping it simple. Simply focusing on great customer service and very simple systems for my team to follow. I may even come and sit on that plank of wood with you again soon and just stare into the paddocks instead of sitting on my leather couch staring at a tablet.
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