Stop Trying to Be Everything to Everyone
You probably have the desire and the ability to help lots of people with lots of different challenges. Your business may have become known as a jack of all trades.
While a diverse group of happy customers is something to be proud of, being all things to all people is slowing down your business growth.
The Challenge: We Want to (and Can) Help Everyone!
Most businesses I work with end up covering very broad territory in two dimensions:
- Serving a lot of different types of customers
- Offering a wide variety of services or products
For example, a law firm I work with has a broad client base, spanning startups to Fortune 1000 companies. And they are multi-talented, so they work on issues from employment to financing to intellectual property.
We don’t want to limit ourselves. We like the variety. And we never want to close the door on an additional customer or sale!
Actually, you’ll grow faster if you focus. Here’s the three benefits of focusing.
Benefit 1: Easier to Find Customers
There’s a vitamin sales rep I know who says “everyone is a potential customer for me!” While true, it’s not helping her find business. When she says this, I don’t know who to introduce her to. If she chooses a niche–let’s say she says “pregnant women are great customers for me”–now several names come to mind.
Benefit 2: Easier to Convince Customers to Buy
I know some personal trainers who say, “I can help everyone achieve their fitness goals.” It sounds more credible when you are more focused, because you can be specific about the results you get your customers. A trainer client of mine helps women get back into their old jeans, and he has a portfolio of success stories to prove it. So when he meets a woman who wants to get back into her old jeans, she KNOWS he can help her!
Benefit 3: Develop Deeper Expertise
Being a jack of all trades is fun, but if you want to be a leader in your field, you’ll need to focus. The law firm I mentioned, which used to be a jack of all trades, has become known as the go-to firm in their region for tech startups with intellectual property issues. As a result, those clients are flocking to them in large numbers. And they’re growing MUCH faster than they did when they marketed broad legal services.
Conclusion: Grow Faster by Being More Focused
Although it’s counterintuitive, the fastest-growing businesses are NOT trying to make every sale they can. They are intentionally ignoring big parts of the market, in order to be truly outstanding to their niche. The momentum they build allows them to grow rapidly, and leave their competitors behind.