What happens when the going gets tough?

When it is late in the day and you are still working on finishing a client report, revising your website or maybe even cleaning the floors of your retail shop what is it that keeps you going and focused?  Some people can stay motivated by the money, but there are lots of ways to bring in money (and you don’t necessarily have to wash floors).  What is it about the business that you have chosen to dedicate yourself to that gives you that spark of delight?

It is my contention that if you can clearly define the difference that you are trying to make in the world, then you will always know your motivation.  If you can articulate the purpose of your business and how you ultimately want to be able to help people, even if in a small way, then you will have a successful and long lasting business.

Let’s be honest, owning your own business is not always delightful and rosy.  There are times when you wonder what the heck you were thinking when you decided to take it all on yourself.  Even if you can afford to hire others to do some of the work that you do not enjoy, there will always be some challenge within the business.  This is not a bad thing, it just is the way it goes.  The question is, “How will you handle it?”

When you know your purpose, it will always be there to support you.  Sometimes just remembering it will put that smile on your face as you make that last phone call of the day. Many times, your purpose will be your guidepost.  It will help you to make decisions by answering the question, “Will this help us to further our purpose?”  Your purpose will be what binds your team together.  It will help you to make hiring decisions… and also firing decisions.  And yes, your purpose will help you to remember the smile that you put on your customers’ faces as you mop that last square foot of the store.

Don’t under estimate the value and power of having a clearly articulated business purpose.  I have found it to be an essential building block to the foundation of a successful business.

Why smaller is better – Getting More Clients

Would you rather be in the small, calm center or out in the storm?

You have heard about focusing your business on a niche market.  The concept is to narrow what you provide, do it really well, become an expert, and have customers beating down your door.  Sounds great, but becomes scary when you think of all of the other things that you could provide or the customers that you could service.

One of the reasons to narrow your focus is that you will attract more customers.  Here are some of the reasons that you will get more customers:

You become the expert

Because you are able to focus on a smaller amount of things to know and do, you are able to drill down deeper into the understanding and delivery of this product (be it a physical product, a service, or knowledge).

Once you have have a reputation as the expert in your field, you become the ‘go to person’ for those who have the problem for which you provide solutions.  It then becomes easy for people to know when to refer you to their friends, business partners, or customers.  Other business people then know when it is appropriate to collaborate with you.

Your message is clear

When you focus, you are then able to clearly state what problems you solve, what you do, and the change that the person will feel by doing business with you.  A clear message allows potential customers to self-select you as the answer they have been looking for. An un-clear message creates uncertainty so that even the customers who would benefit the most will pass you by.

You can target your message

Part of focusing is knowing your ideal target market.  This allows you to get your message to the areas where they ‘hang-out’.  No more ‘shot gun’ marketing.

There is so much more to narrowing your focus in business.  These are just a few things to consider, especially if the whole concept just seems counter intuitive to you.  Let me know if you have had experience in this area and how you made out.