How To Use Occam’s Razor To Simplify Your Online Business

Marketers tend to make things more complicated than they need to be

We learn some new marketing thing and give it a try.

Then we see something else we like and start doing that.

Then we buy a course and throw that into the mix.

And before you know it our business becomes this bloated, complex version of what we set out to build.

In an effort to keep my business from bloating out of control, I always try to keep Occam’s Razor in mind. 

Occam’s Razor is a philosophical principle named after William of Occam, a 14th century logician, philosopher and Franciscan friar who loved simplicity.

Paraphrased, the razor states, “the simplest explanation is preferable to one that is more complex”.

Or, in other words, don’t seek complex solutions to a problem, when a simpler solution is available.

Occam’s Razor is a mental model with a wide range of applications, including science, math, philosophy and religion.

But it’s also extremely useful for those of us who are building an online business. How can you apply it to your business?

Simplify Your Business Model

Your business model is the way your business generates revenue.

While a lot of “internet marketers” are trying to tell you how to complicate your business with funnels and webinars and ads and tripwires and autoresponders…

You’re better off ignoring them and trying to simplify your business model instead.

Because complex business models break easily.

The more moving parts you have, the more opportunity there is for something to go wrong.

When you rely on a dozen different processes working together perfectly in order for your business to work… it’s not a matter of if it’s going to break, it’s a matter of when.

But with fewer moving parts, simple business models are much more resilient.

Kind of like a Timex watch. They “take a licking and keep on ticking”.

Their simplicity makes them almost impossible to break.

And that’s exactly what you want from your business model.

A business that’s simple and adaptable enough to take a licking and keep on ticking. No matter what gets thrown at it.

Adopt a simple business model.

Build an email list. Follow up with them until they buy something. Then sell them something else that complements the first thing.

It’s as simple and unbreakable of a business model as there is.

And, in one variation or another, it’s the backbone of every successful business, online and offline.

Simplify Your Offers

Online marketers have a tendency to turn their offers into a late night infomercial pitch.

Instead of skillfully showing the prospect how our product can solve their problem, we just throw more “stuff” at them.

More bonuses, more modules, more interviews, more content, more product. More, more, more.

Most of us stop short of shouting “But WAIT! There’s MORE!” but the idea is the same.

We have it in our heads that if we just add a bunch of stuff to the offer and “increase the value” that more people will buy.

But people don’t want more stuff. They want a solution to their problem. And they want it as quickly and easily as possible.

They don’t want (or need) 45 modules, 20 hours of content and 12 bonuses just to learn how to decorate a cake.

They don’t buy your course to learn the history of cake decorating or for a bunch of interviews with cake decorating experts.

All they want is to be able to bake a cool cake for their kid’s birthday. Show them how to do it.

Get rid of all the bloat and simplify your offers.

Give your customers the most direct route to the solution. And get them there as fast as possible.

If you need 45 modules, 20 hours of content and 12 bonuses to do that, then fine. But don’t put it in there just to have “more value.”

Simplify Your Systems

A business is just a system of systems.

You have systems for attracting leads, converting them to customers, and dealing with customer service.

Systems for writing articles, emails and salespages. Systems for making podcasts, YouTube videos… you get the picture. 

The point is, your business is a large system made up of all those smaller systems.

And if you want your business to run smoothly, it’s a good idea to keep those systems as simple as possible.

Because every step in your process/system causes friction. And friction keeps you from actually getting things done.

So all those large, complex processes that marketers love to build, just create a bunch of friction and make things harder.

On the flip side, simple systems have fewer steps, less friction and are much easier to get done.

For example, the other day I came across an opt-in offer. It was an email copywriter offering a 25-point checklist to improve your email marketing.

Now, I don’t know about you, but if I have to do a 25-point inspection on every email I send, I won’t be sending many emails.

But what if he had a 3-step checklist instead? Now that’s an email marketing system I can get on board with.

A simple 3-step system is minimal friction, easy to complete and more likely to get done.

A grueling 25-step system is a pain in the ass that I’m not going to follow.

So take a look at the systems in your business.

Have they become bloated and unnecessarily complicated?

Then simplify them. Pare them down to only the essential steps.

You’ll find everything becomes easier once you start removing some of the unnecessary friction in your business.

Building a business is hard enough

Don’t make it harder than it needs to be by adding unnecessary complexity. 

Instead, apply Occam’s Razor and look for ways you can simplify your business as much as you can.

Your business model, offers and systems are a great place to start.

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