Small Business Marketing

Improve Small Business Success: The Power of Business Focus

Author:  Debra Murphy


Reading Time: 6 minutes
Unlocking Small Business Success: The Power of Business Focus

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
  • Create a system to achieve your goal
  • 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
  • Stop planning and start acting

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.

Create a system to achieve your goal

A system is a documented repeatable process for creating visibility and generating quality leads. Once you know what you need to do to effectively market your business, divide the tasks into daily, weekly or monthly activities and schedule them into your calendar.

You need to figure out a way to make these tasks a habit. Creating daily habits that you schedule in your calendar can help you take your marketing from an overwhelming task to a completely achievable system.

For example, if you are using content marketing to attract qualified leads, you may want to:

  • Publish new content on Mondays
  • Promote your content on social media on Tuesdays
  • Create a Facebook sponsored post with a call to action on Thursdays to drive people to your website to get your offer and sign up for your list.

If you repeat this process regularly, you will find yourself doing them more consistently, which in turn should produce better results.

Further reading

Marketing System vs Marketing Plan: Essential Tools for Success

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.

Further reading

Finding Your Niche through an Effective Target Market Strategy

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. 

Further reading

7 Key Advantages of Service Bundling for Small Businesses

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.

Further reading

Best Marketing Strategies for Small Business that Deliver Results

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.

Stop planning and start acting

I didn’t say don’t plan. I recommend a 90 day marketing action plan that helps you focus your activities on short term goals that benefit your business growth. Focusing on important projects help you make decisions on what you should be doing and what you can let go.

But without action, your marketing plan is just words. Nothing will be accomplished to help your business thrive. Schedule time to fully develop and execute your marketing campaigns. Create an action plan that breaks the effort down into smaller tasks that can be scheduled to help you achieve small wins that lead to your ultimate accomplishment.

Further reading

Marketing Execution: Plan, Execute, Track, and Measure

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. 

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