3 Reasons Keeping your Business Simple will Lead to Success
I started cravebox.com in 2014 and throughout the process I’ve learned that keeping the business simple is beneficial in so many different ways. It’s tempting to branch out and try more – more products, more brands, more distribution channels, etc. But you can often go a lot further by keeping things simple and focused.
1. Keeps your Energy Focused
When you start a business, you are forced to compete with all the other businesses that already exist in your particular category. Most of those other businesses have been around for a while and have gotten pretty good at what they do. So, it requires some time and tons of effort to successfully compete with these other businesses and win market share. Not only is this effort required when starting the business but it’s also required while running the business over the long term. Your competitors will be working full-time to improve and new businesses will be forming constantly. You need to commit a full-time effort to your business to remain competitive. If you become over-confident and try developing too many new products, for example, you might become distracted and begin losing market share in your core business. As Mentioned before, I started cravebox.com in 2014. In 2017, I tried to sell a bath bombs product because I thought since I could sell one type of product online, it shouldn’t be too difficult to start a second company and sell another product online. But it did not go well. I couldn’t put a full-time effort into either product – the result was the bath bombs company never did well and I closed it down 6 months later and cravebox.com was starting to struggle. Ever since, I’ve doubled down on cravebox.com and the business has grown tremendously since then.
2. It’s Lower Risk
If you currently run a profitable business it’s not very high risk to continue investing your money in your current successful business operations. For example, cravebox.com sells about 20 different care package and gift basket varieties. I know these sell profitably and I know the money I invest in this inventory, labor, etc. is likely going to generate a return for me and my business. However, if I were to start selling fresh fruit gift baskets (which I currently don’t sell), it would be a much more risky investment than continuing only with my current business operations. This is because I’d need to invest the time and money into sourcing new product, hiring people to manage this new supply chain and operation, and I would not be sure if the products would even sell or sell profitably. It’s often more profitable to invest in growing your current, successful area of business instead of being tempted by trying too many new things.
3. Employees will Perform Better
My warehouse is very simple. As I mentioned before, we sell about 20 care package and gift basket varieties on cravebox.com but we use many of the same snack products in those 20 varieties. So there aren’t a lot of different products in my warehouse and my staff is able to easily keep the warehouse organized and they can perform their jobs assembling care packages without a high chance of making mistakes. If I introduce too many new products, systems, or try selling an unrelated product, there is a much higher chance my staff would make mistakes which would hurt the quality of my business and current products. Since your competitors will likely stay strong, organized, and even improve, you cannot afford to have problems in your operation and one of the best ways to keep the operation functioning smoothly is to keep it simple.
About the Author
John Accardi is the founder and CEO of cravebox.com and starcoursecap.com. CRAVEBOX assembles care packages and gift baskets to be sold online. STARCOURSE CAPITAL is a venture capital firm that invests in young e-commerce companies. John dropped out of a PhD program at Georgetown University in 2014 to start CRAVEBOX and he says it’s the best decision he ever made. He now runs the businesses out of North Wales, PA and also lives in Manhattan part-time. When John’s not working, he enjoys sailing, playing guitar, and spending time with family.