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Reduce overwhelm with a minimalist business model

Are you feeling the weight of managing a business that's grown beyond recognition? Often in the messy middle, business owners feel stressed and overwhelmed by the never ending to-do list but it doesn’t have to continue this way. If you’re feeling trapped in your business and the way you’re operating your business doesn’t feel sustainable, now is a great time to consider a more minimalist business model.

Today I’m talking about how a minimalist business model will help you simplify, streamline, and regain control of your business, creating so much more space for you to focus on the things that matter. Just as we declutter our homes in the Spring, the minimalist approach involves decluttering your business. It's all about simplifying, becoming more intentional, and boosting efficiency. Remember, a minimalist business model doesn't mean you have to abandon everything. It's about curating what matters most.

In this episode, I share some practical ways that you can begin to steer your business to a more minimalist and sustainable model. First, it's time to refine your offerings. Keep what aligns with your vision and release what no longer fits. Remember, quality over quantity. Next, focus your marketing efforts. Tailor your strategies to your strengths and the preferences of your ideal clients. This means less scattered energy and more impactful results. And don't forget about optimisation. Streamline your operations through automation or outsourcing. With the clutter gone, you'll finally have the mental space to focus on what truly matters.

You don't have to dive headfirst into minimalism and completely revolutionise your entire business. Take small steps, let go of the excess, and make room for the extraordinary. Remember, this journey isn't about discarding everything; it's about crafting a business that truly aligns with your vision and aspirations.

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[00:00:00] Kristy: Can you believe that it is already September? And for those of you who are in Australia or New Zealand, that of course means that it is the beginning of spring. Often when it gets to the warmer months, we are starting to think about how can we freshen up our homes? How can we freshen up our spaces? What needs to either be given away or thrown out or discarded, and what no longer really fits for moving into these warmer months? For the past few months, I've been moving towards a much more sustainable and minimalist lifestyle. I'm very intentional and conscious about the things that I purchase and what I bring into the home, but I still get to this time of the year and know that I need to freshen things up. And it's a little bit like that with your business. When you get to the messy middle stage of business, over the few years prior, you've been accumulating a bunch of things, whether it's offers or working with clients that no longer align or that you've outgrown or offering special and bespoke things for specific clients or, you know, just making our business more complicated than it needs to be. And what happens when we get to the messy middle stage of business is that you are managing a high volume of clients, you have less time than ever before to allocate to operations and administration, and you find yourself getting really overwhelmed. So I wanted to talk to you today about a minimalist business model because this is something that you don't have to go completely minimalist, but being more intentional about letting go of aspects of your business that no longer align and being really intentional about the things that you bring into your business moving forward. In this episode I'll be sharing with you what a minimalist business model actually is, the benefits to you, the business owner and your clients, and overall for having a minimalist business.

[00:02:14] As well as how you can begin to make changes in your business so that it is more lean, so that it does move more towards that simplified and minimalist business model. So a big conversation today, I know you're gonna get so much value from it, especially if you're feeling overwhelmed and inundated by constant tasks in your business.

[00:02:36] So make sure you have somewhere to capture ideas and things to dive deeper into after listening to this episode. Are you ready? Let's go.

[00:02:47] Hello boss and welcome back to the Run Your Business like A Boss podcast. So yes, September. We have only got four months until the end of the year, and as I always say, every year we don't actually have four months, because often in December, the first one to two weeks is really just preparing your business for taking a break, especially so for business owners in Australia and New Zealand because this is heading straight into the summer holidays.

[00:03:51] And so that means that realistically you probably only have about 12 to 13 workable weeks left of the year. And this really is the perfect time to be getting your business ready for what you want it to look like in 2024, so that you've already got some good runs on the board as you enter January of the following year. So the timing of this episode could not be more perfect.

[00:04:19] Now minimalist living and minimalist business model is something that's really close to my heart. You see, I haven't always had a minimalist business. I do now, but I haven't always. If you are just joining the podcast for the very first time, you may not know this, but I have actually had a previous business before owning this coaching business.

[00:04:44] I embarked on my small business journey back in 2010. Yes, pre-Instagram even. And that business model was a bricks and mortar business, and it was anything but minimalist. There were so many things that I needed to be across and to do and to action, and to physically be in the store all the time, that by the time I sold the business in 2013, I was so overwhelmed and burnt out that I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I never wanted to experience that again.

[00:05:21] So, Having been through that experience, it really did inform the way that I set up and structured my coaching business because I wanted to make sure that my business was able to better support the life that I wish to live, which in my case, it's to be available for my family, to be able to be actively raising my kids and spending time with my loved ones as well as running my business.

[00:05:49] I also knew that I didn't want to have a high stress business that required me to be in it for eight hours a day. It just wasn't where I was at when I started my business. So setting up a minimalist business was absolutely necessary for me to be able to embark on small business once again.

[00:06:12] So I wanted to share with you what it looks like to run a minimalist business to help you to understand how this can support your desire to have a more sustainable business. Now, mine is very minimal. It's very lean across all facets, and you don't have to do that across your entire business. You may listen to this episode and pull out certain pieces and go, yep, that's for me. Or you may get to the end of the episode and go, how on earth am I going to, you know, fully transform my business? Because this is where I wanna be moving to in the future. But my goal with this episode is really to just give you a view on how your business could be and get you thinking about where things are at, and how you can make some changes to create more simplicity and more ease in your business moving forward.

[00:07:04] So what is a minimalist business model? It is at the core a simple, efficient, intentional, and lean business. There is nothing in the business that isn't meant to be there. And I think that when you are through the startup stage, often we're accumulating new things. We're tailoring and tweaking things for individual clients.

[00:07:29] We continue to work with clients that maybe we've outgrown and no longer feel aligned. We still offer things that are legacy offers, even though we are wanting our business to look different, or you hold a different vision for your business moving forward and you end up having a very full business with a lot of things that no longer fit. So if you are sitting there and you're thinking, Ooh, this sounds very much like me, I want you to know this is extremely normal in the messy middle stage of business to have a very full business. But it's also a really good opportunity for you to say, okay, this is where I'm at. I can make some changes and I can adapt my business and create a business model that's going to fit the vision of the business moving forward and what I want out of my life as well.

[00:08:28] Here's the thing, as women especially, we often say yes to so many things, and in the startup stage, the truth is you do need to say yes to everything and then figure it all out later. But I wanna remind you that in this growth stage of business, it's also entirely okay to start saying no and to start making changes to your business that's going to suit you into the future rather than what's worked for you in the past.

[00:08:57] So having a minimalist business is essentially having a simple business that doesn't have all of the things that are unnecessary or that you no longer wanna take into the future. It is also about having a business that is intentional and efficient as well.

[00:09:16] So you probably have already guessed what the benefits are to you, the business owner, for having a lean or minimalist business, but I'm going to share with you my experience. Having a minimalist business allows for much less stress. If you are only delivering one to two to three services, you are not thinking about all the various different stages or tailored things that you are doing for your clients.

[00:09:44] Everyone is moving through the same proprietary process as the next person. Now, every client experience does look a little tiny bit different, but it's essentially been mapped out on the foresight and you are moving your clients through their client journey. So it makes it much easier for you to be able to either automate, optimize, to get a team member in if that's what's going to work for you or for you to facilitate yourself because it's much more predictable throughout the process.

[00:10:16] It also means that you are not wasting time on doing jobs or delivering services that no longer feel good for you. That you may have outgrown, that you may have outgrown that particular type of client, as I said earlier, and that then creates more capacity, more space for you to think bigger in your business to be doing tasks that sit more in your zone of genius or that you can reallocate to your personal life.

[00:10:46] I think sometimes we can feel like it's against the entrepreneurial world to want to have time for ourselves, but the reality is, is that, as I say here on the podcast and across my platforms, if you are only spending your days working, it doesn't create a fulfilling life and it's completely unsustainable for the long term.

[00:11:07] That's fine for short sprints or in startup stage, but you do want your business to be much more sus sustainable so that you can enjoy your life beyond your business. So having a minimalist business will mean that you are no longer bogged down in delivering offers or working with clients that no longer fit, doing different tasks that no longer feel congruent with or aligned with your skillset and what you wanna be doing in your business moving forward. And that creates more space, as I said, for either your business or for you personally.

[00:11:45] And for your clients, it means that they have a much better client journey with you. Because you only have two to three set offers, it means that you can be much more intentional or strategic around the design of your client experience, around how you are going to facilitate that service delivery, and therefore they're going to have a much better experience with working with you because everything has been set out ahead of time in how you're going to deliver that transformational outcome for them.

[00:12:17] And the other thing is, is that when you have an minimalist or a lean business, it's so much easier to optimize or to get support in. You don't have this chaos on the backend. You don't have all these different things that are stuck in your head in, you do this thing for that client and that thing for that client over there.

[00:12:39] Instead, everything is streamlined. Everything can be systemized, everything can be captured, and it just means that you can finally get decent support, either through a tech solution or with team, so that again, it frees up your time as a business owner to either be working on, you know, more complicated things or as I said, time away from your business.

[00:13:04] So lots of benefits for you, the business owner, lots of benefits for your business, and lots of benefits for your clients as well. So let me tell you a little bit about how you can begin to move your business into a much more minimalist business model. I gave the first one away a moment ago when I talked about reducing your offers.

[00:13:27] When we get started with our business, we are very often over-delivering on all the things, especially as women. We want to be able to give everybody the world essentially. And what ends up happening is you end up spending much more time doing tasks to deliver your services for your clients that you haven't really planned for or mapped out for in your calendar.

[00:13:55] And you may even have a bunch of clients that are on bespoke services that weren't even things that you were originally going to offer, but either you kept saying yes to various things that they wanted you to do, or you just kept building out your services as time has gone on. And this can become really confusing for you on the backend of your business.

[00:14:21] If you are trying to keep a track of where everybody is at, everyone's doing something different, you cannot systemize your business. You cannot streamline your business, and it becomes an operational nightmare. So in order for you to move towards that minimalist Business model, I encourage you to start to think about what are those core offers that you do want to be taking into the future or this next stage of your business?

[00:14:49] And start shedding the things that no longer feel aligned. Start shedding the clients that no longer fit with the vision of the business and strip everything back to that two to three offers or whatever that number is. It can be the number of your choosing, but something that's manageable and really does hit the mark of what you are wanting to deliver moving forward.

[00:15:14] The second way you can move towards this minimalist business model. Again, I've given this one away already. It is to be working with one or maybe two ideal client avatars. As I said, if you are offering all the things to all the people, it's really hard to market that kind of business and you end up being quite generic and you end up working with a wide variety of clients.

[00:15:43] Now that may work in the early stages of business when you're trying to get a feel of which clients align, which clients fit, which clients you love working for, which clients get the ultimate transformation from you, but you've got a lot of data behind you. You've got a lot of knowledge behind you, a lot of experience, so now is a really great time to start doubling down on that ideal client avatar. And this is gonna free up your capacity so much because you're not gonna be thinking about multiple different people, how you can reach that person, how you can reach that person over there. And instead, you can just get really, really narrow in the type of client that you serve, the transformation that you are making.

[00:16:31] This will feel so much simpler and it will feel really good for you because you know that you are working with the person that gets the best results from working with and the person that you enjoy working with. There are so many other benefits to this in the sense that you become more referable and you become more marketable and all of those things. But from a mental load perspective, you are not trying to juggle all these different types of clients and remembering how you can best support that one, and then that one, and then that one, and it just becomes so much easier for you. But also it's really great for your clients as well because they know the offer that they're buying from you is designed for exactly them. So they get a really good benefit from you being much more minimalist and, cut through in who you are serving.

[00:17:24] The next way to become a more minimalist business model is through your marketing. And we are told at nauseum that we should be doing all the things by all the different specialists that do the ads or do pin, you know, like all the different things, right.

[00:17:44] But I'm a big believer in one, playing to your strengths, and two, focusing your marketing on how your ideal client is going to find you. So I've mentioned on the podcast before that I dabbled in YouTube back in 2020 I think it was, but I quickly realized that my ideal client is not watching YouTube videos.

[00:18:07] And so in 2021, I moved to podcasting and this is where I can create better content for my ideal client and anyone else who chooses to listen to this podcast because they're busy and they're off doing other things whilst having me in their ears. So you don't need to be in all of the places. You just need to figure out one, how to play to your strengths, and two, where your ideal client is. So I don't have a lot of problems with creating video, and I could be creating long form video content. So yes, that would fit in the strengths category, but it's not gonna reach my ideal clients. So therefore, why would I continue to do that?

[00:18:52] I could then redivert my energy back into podcasting where one, it does play to my strengths. And two, my ideal client does listen to podcasts. So with marketing, it really is about reducing the type of marketing you're doing to fit your business. It's also linked back to if you've got only a few different services that you are marketing, that makes your whole marketing engine so much easier to execute as well. On top of that, if you are only speaking to one ideal client, again, that makes your marketing efforts so much easier so you can begin to see at this point how all of the little pieces start to click together, and it's the cumulative effect of your offers, of your ideal client, of your marketing and the things that I'm going to talk about in a moment that make your business so much more intentional, so much more simplified.

[00:19:54] The other thing that I wanna touch on, on marketing, and I have mentioned this on the podcast before, but I do think it's really important as a reminder, is that you can choose what type of marketing you wanna do for your offers. So whether that's Evergreen, whether that's launching, and I've mentioned before that I really don't enjoy stressful launches. It impacts the way I feel at home, and I don't wanna be snappy for the kids. So you can figure out a way that feels good for you, that maybe is easier for you to execute something that's really simple. And is going to reach and attract your ideal client.

[00:20:36] Don't get bogged down in all the advice from everybody else out there. You a hundred percent get to pick the path forward and be really intentional about the initiatives and actions that you put in place for your business. The fourth thing that you can look at when it comes to a minimalist business model is your operations and optimization.

[00:21:02] Now, as I mentioned before, when you only have a few offers, that makes it so much easier to optimize your offers. So what I mean by that is, is that if you have, say two to three offers, your onboarding process is going to be reduced somewhat if you are offering all tailored and bespoke services for every client that walks in the door.

[00:21:27] That means that you can map out that process and you can potentially streamline and automate that process. Now, some people don't love the idea of using tech, and that's okay. You can still have all of your emails templated out, even if you send them manually. You can still have other tools that can support you with calendars and T's and C's and things like that.

[00:21:52] You don't have to go with a full CRM solution. But if you do have limited offers, it does make it that much easier to optimize.

[00:22:02] The other thing is, is that if you've stripped out all the unnecessary and really focusing on the big impact, the big transformation, the big problems that you are solving for your clients, you are not throwing in all these extras that don't necessarily make the outcomes better for your client, but as a business owner, it makes you feel like you are offering value, but it doesn't always create the most positive outcome for your client when you keep adding extra things in. It's really about zeroing in on the problem that you're solving, the transformation you are creating, and then making sure that your business can support all of that. The other way that you can obviously get support in your business is with team and outsourcing.

[00:22:52] Here in my business, I don't need a big team. My business is set up minimally. I have really good workflows in my business to support my containers. Everything streamlined as much as can be but I do have areas of the business that I outsource because it's not in my zone of genius. And what that does is by having those pieces outsourced, I can redirect my energy back to my clients and looking at what do I want for the business in the future, as well as supporting my desire to be there for my kids and my family.

[00:23:30] When you are able to have a really good operational model and optimization and streamlining in your business, it eases so much stress for you, the business owner. yes, of course you still have to deliver your services. Yes, of course you still have your client work, but I'm gonna guess that that is actually your zone of genius and doing all of the bits and bobs around the edges that make that client experience like the emails and the follow-ups, and you know, getting all of the information over to your client and sorting that information on the backend.

[00:24:03] Those are the bits that you don't enjoy. Those are the bits that way heavy on your mind. If you could just really focus on delivering an incredible experience for your client, you will be so much happier in your business. So we've talked a lot about the benefits for you as we've gone along, but some additional benefits of having a minimalist business is that it does create flexibility in the sense that you can scale up and work with more clients as needed and then scale back down if you have less capacity for the business and need more capacity for your personal life. I mentioned on the podcast before that, earlier this year, I had some things that I needed to focus on with my family, and so I took seven weeks off the podcast. It didn't hurt my business and it was a really important time to reallocate my capacity back over to something that was really important to me. As a person know my life priorities, and this was one of those instances where I absolutely had to shift my energy to focus on that thing in my personal life.

[00:25:19] But it's not always like that sometimes I have big energy for my business and therefore I can take on more clients, which is really great in terms of for my offers that I have the 90 minute intensives. Some months I have more capacity for more clients in that container and other months I have less, but I have the flexibility to shift and change that based on whatever else is going on in my business and outside of my business.

[00:25:48] So a benefit of having a minimal business model is that you can scale up as you have increased capacity and scale down as you have reduced capacity. I've spoken about this throughout the episode, but more space, less stress. When you have more time to work on your business, then you are going to be able to move the needle to more of that impact that you wanna create for your business.

[00:26:14] You'll have time to be able to build exciting things or figure out what you want your business to look like for the future. There will be so much more fulfillment and so much more joy from your business 'cause you'll be less in the grind because you've shed a lot of that in your business, whether that is through removal, allocation through systems allocation through team. Now, a little caveat here is that every business has ebbs and flows, and a minimalist business doesn't mean that you are never gonna have pressure points in your business. It's never gonna be stressful, it's never gonna have hardships or anything like that.

[00:26:54] I don't want you to you know, think that it's like grass is greener over there, but the reality is you have less of that when you have in a minimalist business. When you have less moving parts, there's less blowups, but you are still running a business and things do still come up and challenges do still need to be overcome and busy periods do need to still be worked through, but the idea is to ease out some of that mundane stress or reduce the things that no longer feel right for you and the business moving forward.

[00:27:26] So this episode really is about giving you a fresh perspective and to get you thinking about and reassessing your business to consider how you can shed some of those things that no longer feel aligned to the direction of your business moving forward.

[00:27:45] Just because you've done something one way in the past, it doesn't mean you need to be shackled or fixed to that moving forward. And as I said at the start of the episode, we've got about 12 workable weeks until the end of the year, which is plenty of time to begin unpicking what's not working and putting things back together in a more meaningful way.

[00:28:11] Throughout this episode, you've probably captured a few ideas, and if you haven't, do spend some time after the end of the episode to think about what you wanna look at first. Don't go and shift everything all at once. It's not the idea of this conversation, it's just to get you thinking and re-imagining what your business could look like for the future, and then step back and think about, well, what is it that I want my business to look like? You may not wanna change all the things that I spoke about today, but you may think there's a few things there that you know aren't working and that you need to fix moving forward.

[00:28:50] So create some space to think about what that might look like. And just a reminder, this is what I do to help my clients who come to work with me inside of the six month Business Accelerator Coaching program. If you want my support to simplify your business, if you want my support to transform your business model so that it really fits with the direction of your business moving forward, then go and check out the Business Accelerated Coaching Program. It's my signature six month container. Have a look at what's included and apply today. Once you apply, we'll tee up a time to chat to see if we're a good fit. It gives you an opportunity to ask questions, and then you can make the decision about whether or not to move forward inside of that coaching container.

[00:29:40] So, There's a couple of ways you can get started with making your business more sustainable, much more minimalist and lean moving forward. I hope this has given you some food for thought and maybe a little bit of inspiration of what your business may look like with much less stress and replaced with much more ease.

[00:30:05] Boss, I appreciate you. If you enjoyed this episode, can I please ask you to either send this episode link to a friend who you think can also benefit from this podcast, or head over to Apple Podcast, leave a rating and review. This helps the podcast be found by other business owners who are in the messy middle who would like support like this for their business, and I would very much appreciate that as well.

[00:30:37] I read all the reviews and love reading how the podcast is positively impacting you. So as always, I appreciate you listening to the podcast. I hope this is Given you a way forward and as always, I look forward to chatting with you next week.

[00:30:56] This podcast was recorded on the land of Kilen Darbin. I pay, respect and tribute to the Turrbal people who are the traditional owners and caretakers of the land in which this podcast is created.

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About your host, Kristy

Hi, I'm Kristy, thank you for tuning in to the Run Your Business Like a Boss Podcast. My purpose for the podcast is to help Business Owner’s in the growth stage of business (messy middle) have a sustainable business, they love.


I’m an online business coach, based in Brisbane, Australia. I provide 1:1 business coaching, to Service Based Online Business Owner's and a group coaching program commencing in 2022. I believe whole heartedly that having a Business Coach is what gives you the competitive edge. As your coach I support you to overcome challenges quickly, uncover blindspots and make business decisions with confidence and clarity. All of which keeps you moving forward and maintaining momentum. 

As your Business Coach, my role is to help you organise and formulate your ideas, turn them into a goal and then into an actionable plan! All while meeting you where you're at and providing you relevant tools and support along the way.


Thank you for tuning in to the Run Your Business Like A Boss podcast!

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