By Emily Suess

The idea is the same whether you’re applying minimalism to running a small business or decorating a tiny apartment: less is more.

Get Rid of the Extra Stuff

If you’re familiar with the minimalist philosophy, you know that all of the things we accumulate can take a toll on us physically, mentally, and emotionally. To unburden yourself and your business processes from all of that weight, your first step should be to cut back on the amount of unnecessary stuff around you.

What you gain back in terms of your time, maintenance costs, profits, and physical space will help you become more organized and efficient at work. Start by shredding those documents you have sitting around in boxes. Scan the items you need to keep, and securely discard the rest.

Make Freedom Your Priority

Rather than concentrating on accumulating new, shiny things. Make the decision to work towards greater freedom. Do you really need a newer car, a bigger apartment, or more gadgets? Most of the time we’re conditioned to use these as metrics for our professional success.

But when we use the principles of minimalism to run a more efficient business, we get our freedom back because we have more time in the day to do exactly what we want to do.

Stop Growing the Business

A certain amount of growth is necessary to make a business successful, but where does it stop? Growing for growth’s sake can make you feel like you’re trapped inside a hamster wheel with no way out. Change your goal from undefined growth to sustainability, and you can more clearly see what steps you need to take to streamline the business. When you do, you’ll end up with a smaller, more manageable to-do list and a greater sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

Do Less Outside the Office

As a small business owner, you’re no stranger to the challenges of achieving work-life balance. Stop being busy because you think that’s what everyone expects, and be more mindful of the way you spend your free time. Instead of half-heartedly involving yourself in a dozen social causes and hobbies, pick the one or two that mean the most to you and give them the attention they deserve. Then, you can focus on your business during the day instead of worrying about the laundry list of things you need to accomplish for any obligations you have outside of work.

Limit Choices

Too many choices can lead to confusion and inaction. It’s true for you, and it’s also true for your customers. You can use minimalism to limit choices for your customers and actually see better results. This is true in almost every area of your business. Limit the number of clickable links on your web pages to move customers through the sales funnel. Reduce your product and service offerings to a handful in order to make it easier for customers to weigh the pros and cons of each option. Then, enjoy how much easier it is to support, market, and advertise three products instead of a dozen.