There is no need to over complicate life, yet often that is the way things go. Technology is a wonderful example of how, just sometimes, we can over complicate life. The answer to a client’s business challenge is often as simple as a change in process, or a very simple manual calculation, yet too often they leap to designing complex technology solutions, which of course add bells and whistles (because you are developing it anyway)!
If we can easily get the answer to a question without a lot of grief, is it worth the effort and cost of developing a complex solution?
This concept can apply to almost any aspect of our lives. Let’s look at a typical contracting problem.
When having trouble finding work, independent contractors may take extra steps like creating a new website, bypassing agencies and applying directly to a complex supply arrangement, or even considering a move to a new location. Very often, the answer may be simply reworking your resume, doing some extra training and calling more recruiters.
Don’t get us wrong. Technology is great and out-of-the-box thinking like the ideas above are often a great way to grow your business. Solutions just don’t always have to be that complex!
Keeping it simple is not just a strategy that you can take to your business, but you can also use it when helping clients through their business problems. Here are a few questions you might ask yourself next time you are wrestling with how to solve a problem:
- Do I truly understand the problem or am I looking at the symptoms?
- Have other people already solved this problem? (Ask!)
- What is the most basic solution?
- Does adding technology or extensive time/financial investments make the solution appreciably better?
- Is there a measurable return on my (or the client’s) investment if I opt for the more complex solution? Will the solution yield enough benefits to warrant the costs?
- What happens if I don’t fix the problem? (sometimes the “problem” is really an inconvenience, rather than something worthy of your time)
- Are all of the pieces of the puzzle working effectively but the results are not right? Or is it possible that the “problem” is more fundamental?
- Have I really given the situation some thought, or have I jumped to conclusions?
- Who do I know that can help me work through the potential answers?
Keep it simple! As an independent contractor you already have many tasks and stressors from running your own business to serving your clients. Do you really want to add to that with unnecessary, complex solutions?
How do you ensure you’re not over-complicating things? How do you deal with clients who insist on excessive solutions? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!