One of the hardest exercises for small business owners is to figure out where they should focus to grow their business. Business owners are sometimes afraid to focus for fear of leaving money on the table. But to try to be everything to everybody, you confuse your audience and never achieve your true purpose. It prevents you from loving what you do and working with those who appreciate your expertise.
In order to focus on the important areas however, you also need to abandon those things that get in the way of you achieving your goal. As business owners, we tend to often get distracted by other people’s urgent “opportunities” and have a hard time saying no. And saying no may be a more important habit for us to learn than anything else.
Things you can do to focus more within your business include:
- Setting one outcome goal that drives all activities
- Narrowing your ideal target market
- Streamlining your service offerings
- Focusing your marketing activities
- Adopting the two week sprint
- Eliminating and outsourcing tasks that don’t drive revenue
The more you can streamline and work on the right things that make a difference in your business, the more successful you will be.
Set your outcome goal and stick with it
Trying to achieve too many goals sets you up to achieve none. You should have one outcome goal and it should be revenue or new clients. All other things that seem to be “goals” really aren’t. Building a new website, launching a new marketing campaign, growing your email list are all projects that should be tied to performance. These projects should be selected to help you achieve your outcome goal.
So, if you are launching a new marketing campaign, make sure the campaign has a deadline and a target result. For example: Create and promote a new lead magnet by September 1 so that it grows my email list by 500 subscribers per month.
Now your project has meaning. You’ve specified the what, when and why of the project. Increasing subscribers to your email list should help you achieve your outcome goal.
Narrowly focus your target audience
For your marketing to fall into place, you truly have to understand your target audience. We may be able to work with many different types of businesses, but doing so just complicates your business. Trying to manage different audiences with similar but slightly different products can break your business if you’re not careful.
Ideally, you should pick one target market niche or “starter market”. Choose those from your best clients. When you narrow your focus to this audience, create the right product offerings and deliver, serving them becomes a system. This makes your business more consistent.
For example, if your market is service-based businesses like health and wellness professionals, home service providers (like plumbers and electricians) or coaches and consultants, choose one of these to begin with.
- Build your product offering just for them.
- Craft your messages that speak to them in their words
- Create a customer experience that is better than your competition
Now you have a narrowly focused service offering that you can deliver without any complexity.
Once you have that market working well, feel free to add your next market. Adapting what you offer your initial market will be easier than starting from scratch.
Develop your service offerings specifically for your target
When you are considering what products you will offer your narrow target audience, think about what they will value. Don’t over-complicate them. Once you begin working with a client, you can always offer them more. Doing it this way will also let you test your services to be sure they are getting value, and you are getting paid for your expertise.
Once you have data to prove your offerings fit your target, then you can create value-added packages that can be marketed more consistently. Value-added packages makes it easy for prospects to select what they need, simplifying your sales process.
Focus your marketing activities to gain visibility
Choosing the right marketing activities for your business can be the difference between gaining visibility and wasting time and money.
If you are a small, local service business, focus on:
- Building a powerful web presence and optimizing it for local search
- Creating a robust Google My Business profile
- Asking for reviews and testimonials from your best customers
Trying to do more while servicing your clients can put a strain on you and your business. Choose your marketing activities wisely and be sure they lead you towards your outcome goal.
Plan your work in two week sprints
Trying to plan out your work for longer than two weeks leads to procrastination. By focusing on a shorter time frame and reviewing your results every two weeks, you can track your progress and see what works. Planning your work for only two weeks at a time encourages you to be very particular about what you will add to your to-do list.
This also provides a feedback loop that helps you quickly learn about what isn’t working in order to make changes before you can’t recover. When you wait for weeks to review what is happening, you miss opportunities to adjust your plan to accommodate changes in the market.
Eliminate or outsource things that aren’t aligned with your goal
One of the real challenges of a small business is all of the noise that appears to be important but really only gets in the way of results. The two week sprints help you make decisions on what you should be working on. Keeping your outcome goal as the focus, you can choose the right things to work on. With everything else, you can decide whether to stop doing them totally or, if important to the business, outsource the tasks to experts.
Implement a system that helps your business focus
A system helps you make decisions on what you should be working on and what you can eliminate. As a certified partner in the 90 Day Year Peak Performance System, I help you incorporate this focus into your business that will help you work on the right things to keep you moving forward. When you focus on the right things and eliminate the noise from your daily schedule, you will be more productive and will keep moving closer to your goals.