August 24, 2012

Getting Narrow

You may often hear others claim they’re good with people or they can increase the bottom line. Those are excellent attributes but need to be further defined and refined. For fear of being specific and potentially losing a deal, many will promise to help anyone who asks them and that can be a dangerous tactic.

Many of us have fallen victim of the plan of trying to have an offer with a wide scope. But if we say everyone is our target customer we can be in trouble. Some feel they don't want to limit their potential. But if we narrow our focus, we can become stronger in those areas we can help the most.

Cross Pollination

The retail space has gotten fuzzy over the last decade. You can buy groceries at your pharmacy and furniture in your electronics store. Widening the offer is watering down the focus and may appear to be working but is actually hurting many of the large companies attempting this strategy.

If you’ve ever been to a general store in a small town it’s like a different world. You can buy everything from candy to camping equipment. But if you looked at your business and more importantly how you grow your team, you probably wouldn’t think it wise to be too wide and hire generalists. Shifting into areas that get away from our strengths in order to grow revenue and market share can be tempting. Doing what we do well, more often, can be a wise tactic.

Do One Thing Well

My best friend ran a successful software consulting firm for 20 years that helped clients with one piece of accounting software. They were focused on one discipline and became one of the key firms in the world at what they did.

The temptation to expand was there but he and his partners stayed focused on what they did well, and did it even better. After selling the software company, he now owns a company in the cloud computing space. His focus is great reminder in my career and how I help my clients in their leadership journey.

Sometimes offering less can create a lot more.

Kneale Mann

fisherbray
 
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