“Someone who practices a thousand kicks once is no where near as scary as someone who practices one kick a thousand times.” – Bruce Lee
Too many entrepreneurs think that in order to make millions you need to influence millions.
Don’t be afraid to narrow your focus. Start local and start small. You only need a handful of true fans to get some momentum and build a healthy business. Its all about doing common things uncommonly well.
Get really really good at one thing and find customers who need that one thing. You want your target to be an inch wide and a mile deep.
Don’t spend all of your time training your weaknesses so you can be a jack of all trades and a master of none. Focus on your strengths. Exploit your strengths. Become a master at what you do best and then sell that.
Run a marketing agency? What is your target market? Startups? What type of startups? Tech startups? What type of tech startups? Software as a service tech startups. There we go. Ignore everyone else.
Say you own a cleaning company. What type of customer is your bread and butter? Lets say it is homeowners. Lets go further and say it is homeowners who own expensive homes, maybe $300k or greater. Lets go further and say that you specialize in cleaning these homes before they are bought or sold.
Say you are a videographer. A videographer that works with businesses. Not just any business but hospitality businesses. Not just hospitality businesses but event venues. Wedding venues. You make promotional videos for wedding venues.
Lets say you run a food truck. A southern BBQ food truck. A southern BBQ food truck with one menu item. Pulled pork sandwiches. Not just that but only one flavor of pulled pork with one type of slaw on top. Pulled pork sandwiches that are made in a crock pot the night before, can be served up in about 30 seconds, and are out of this world amazingly good. Now we’re talking.
Lets say you are a mobile mechanic. You focus on commercial brakes. You only do brakes on commercial trucks.
You do on demand party rentals. You only do toys and bounce houses designed for children 6 to 12. You focus all of your marketing and operations around birthday parties for children in that age range.
A catering company should focus on one type of food for one type of event and hit it out of the park.
Specializing like this makes your marketing much easier. If your bread and butter is software as a service startups you know exactly the forums they hang out in. The tech news sites that will feature them. The keywords you need to punch on google to find them.
If your bread and butter is cleaning expensive homes before or after they are bought or sold you can track the MLS and see exactly the homes that are listed for sale. You can see exactly the realtor that has the listing. You can get in with them and help them sell their homes at a higher price. You can give them hundreds of reasons why they should recommend your services.
Your hiring and training processes will also be much easier to streamline. Instead of looking for employees that are good at 20 things you only need them to be good at one thing. Its much easier to deliver a consistent product to your customers. Turnover won’t cripple you. It will be easier to grow.
Its so tempting to take on work that is outside of your wheelhouse. Its tempting to bend over backwards for customers. Its tempting to try to take on jobs that aren’t necessarily your wheelhouse but they are close. Don’t do it. Don’t let yourself. Know who your service is not designed for and stay away from them.
Make it a goal to turn down more business than you accept.
Okay so its early. You don’t know what your specialty is. You are not sure what your strengths are. How do you find it?
Keep track of your data and analyze it. Track your time and expenses. Track your complaints and returns / refunds.
Use the data to find out what your most profitable jobs are. You find out what kind of customers give you the best margin. What type of customer provides the smallest amount of headache.
20% of your customers will make you 80% of your profit. Build your business around these customers and fire the rest.