4 Ways a Minimalist Business Differs from a Small Business


You can't listen to the radio or watch a news program without hearing about how small businesses create jobs. While that's largely true, it gives listeners and viewers the false impression that you must work for someone else to get ahead. 

In this post, I'm going to talk about 4 ways that a Minimalist Business (MB) differs from a traditional small business and why you don't need to work for someone else in order to be successful.

Minimalist Businesses Rock in Ways that Traditional Small Businesses Can't

MB's are Simple

Like the photo above suggests, a MB is a very straightforward and uncomplicated entity. It doesn't require much in the way of equipment or supplies. It exists inside your laptop and also in a notebook where you record ideas that come to you. 

Simple, however, doesn't necessarily mean easy. It requires work to establish and achieve a successful MB. Having said that, it also isn't rocket science. A simple and straightforward business is much more straightforward than a typical small business.  Starting and running a MB doesn't have to take multiple hours each day.

When Ev Bogue was running his MB a few years back, he boasted that he worked as little as two hours each day. That's not typical but it's also not impossible. When I was traveling in the early part of 2016, my MB not only traveled with me in my MacBook, but it continued to earn high profits while I worked little from the train or in hotels on my cross-country motorcycle adventure. I worked a little each evening or whenever an idea surface from my notebook.

MB's are Fun

MB's might be the best cure for depression on the planet. Maybe not clinical depression, but for the occasional blues that affect everyone, a MB based on something the MB owner (MBO) is passionate about can't help but be fulfilling and fun.

When I'm writing articles and essays for my MB, there is nothing that can bring me down. Not even the repetitive interruptions of my father who has two terminal diseases and lives with me. When you work on your passion-based MB, it's fun because you know that you're helping others overcome problems and you're contributing to their success. It's a great feeling knowing that others appreciate what you write and especially when you show them how to be more successful.

Small businesses are so focused on what they do that they often miss the most important aspect of being in business: the why. As Simon Sinek says in his widely viewed Ted Talk, "Why you do something is more important than how you do it." 


MB's Reflect What's Important to You

You have multiple interests and passions and your MB is a reflection of those. Your passions or dominant themes as I prefer to call them, reflect what's most important to you. When you create a MB around one or more of these dominant themes, you're naturally inspired, curious, motivated to learn and share more about them with your readers.

In a small business, there is a lot of focus on process and manual systems. Excuse me, but aren't those kind of uninspiring?  I mean, how jazzed can you get being a Human Resources Rep or an Accounts Payable Clerk? Of course, both of these positions are honorable and necessary in a small business, its just that there ably isn't a whole lot of passion involved in those roles.

A MB is based on passion and your dominant themes and interests. If you're really excited about your MB themes, you won't be able to contain your enthusiasm. It will show in your writing and in your product quality.

MB's Create High Profit Margins 

Because a MB has little or no overhead, its profit margins are higher that that of a small business. Small businesses are bound by overhead costs such as leased office space, employee salaries and benefits, office supplies, travel expenses, meeting costs, utility bills, etc. The list is endless. 

Because overhead is so costly, it reduces profits. A small business must generate significantly more revenue that a MB in order to realize decent profit margins. 

MB's aren't caught in the overhead trap. Because overhead is so low (web hosting and your laptop), profit margins skyrocket and that translates into more money in your pocket. What cold be better than that?