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What 2 kittens taught me about running a business

At the grand old age of 17 our beloved cat Henry bowed out from our life. As a cat-centric family we decided to fill the void and offload our love on two fabulous kittens from the Cats Protection. Cue stage right Stampycat and Sparky – kittens of Siamese and possibly Meer Cat lineage judging by the way they both sit up on their hind legs in constant search of something.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the phrase “curiosity killed the cat” but boy are these kittens curious! Sniffing and searching and climbing and disappearing into dark recesses I never knew existed until a pitiful mewl is emitted from a far flung corner. They also have a particular penchant for water. Baths, bowls, taps, toilets – if it’s got water coming out or going I am guaranteed to find one or both kittens in attendance.

Like any good hunter they also know when there is food around. They have already sussed the rustle of the packaging for their favourite snack and as soon as I start to un-wrap a cat treat they come galloping along. They also like to jump up on the kitchen work surface when I am cooking tea in the hope of a titbit. I found that picking them up and putting them down on the floor, then washing/drying my hands and returning to the demands of tea was futile for as soon as moved away they’d be back. Similarly, asking the small people in my world to come and remove the kittens and entertain them had limited appeal vis-á-vis the X-Box.

The kitchen worktop charade carried on for a few days until I had a light bulb moment. The answer was simply to remove the kittens from the kitchen while I cooked. In doing so I was able to get tea ready on time, stop being Mrs Grumpy, the kids were fed and were happy and the kittens inevitably found something else to entertain themselves with.

So how does this relate to SMEs? Essentially, the most effective approach to dealing with the kittens was the simplest one. And that’s the parallel with business; sometimes we overlook the simple approach. With the very best of intentions entrepreneurs want to let everyone know about all the things on offer in their businesses; however in doing so, it can result in an information overload sending prospects scurrying away rather than drawing them in.

Let’s look at some examples of simple approaches:

There aren’t any complex lines on your new smart phone, are there?

Google’s home page doesn’t leave you wondering where to start, does it?

Do you register the simplicity of ordering stuff from Amazon?

Many of us in business have systems that have too many layers of complexity.

Your pricing policy is probably too convoluted.

Your product range could be simplified.

Your quote process could be streamlined.

Your window display, van signage, website, digital marketing campaigns, diary management are probably all too multifaceted but if you subscribe to “less is more” the results can be dramatic. So take a look and see what you can simplify.

Over to you

The adage “less is more” applies to marketing and advertising your business. If you’re struggling with how to get your message across or know what you want to do but not how to do it then please get in touch to see how I can help. Email [email protected] or call on 07976 869435.

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About Becky (167 Articles)
Hi, my name is Becky Beach and I am the editor for The Muswell Flyer, Highgate Handbook and Crouch End Connection. Whether you're a business or have an event to promote or need a platform to say your piece, do get in touch as I'd love to try and help