Getting More Focused — Best Small Business Ideas — It’s All About You
Jeanna Pool from Catalyst Creative writes a great ezine on marketing each month. In January she shared 5 Great Marketing Tips for 2006. Number 1 was “Stop Focusing on You”. She declares 2006 the year of the client and exhorts you to focus totally on your clients and their needs. I think she’s right on. And I think she’s completely wrong. Why right and wrong?
Because if you’ve been in business for a while and have great products and great services and aren’t getting the results you want, you may be too focused on your clients and not focused enough on yourself. Last week, I encouraged you to revisit your vision of your business and ask yourself why you started your business in the first place. Now I want you to focus even more on what you want. What exactly do you want out of your business? Do you want more money? If so, how much? Write down a number. Do you want more flexible hours? If so, write out exactly the schedule you’d like. Do you want to change the world? If so, write out specifically how that would look.
Why all this focus on you? Because if you aren’t absolutely clear on what you want, how are you going to know if you are successful? How are you going to help your clients if you aren’t taking care of yourself as well? Maybe you need to be making $150,000 a year to provide your family with the life that you wanted. You want to send your kids to college. You want to retire while you are still active and in good health. Or maybe you want to just make an extra $20,000 a year working part-time while you take care of your children until they are in school. Or perhaps your goal is to make a million dollars a year and live a really incredible life. Defining this is very important. Why?
Because what you want will shape your business. It will determine who your customers are and how you will help them. If you want $5,000,000 in sales, your products and methods are going to be a whole lot different than if you want $50,000 in sales. If you want to work only afternoons, that is going to shape your business as well. If you want to sell your business and retire in five years, that’s going to affect your decisions as well. So right now, get out a paper and pen and get ready to write.
Did you get your pen and paper out? Answer the question, “What do I want out of my business?” Write in as much detail exactly what you want your business to give you. Be as specific as possible. Write as much as you can. Think of income, lifestyle, schedule, partners, travel, location, employees. What exactly do you want? Throughout the week, add to this and revise it. Compare where you are right now to what you really want. How large is the gap? Next week, I’ll help you create a plan to narrow the gap with: Why Business Plans Don’t Work — How to Create an Effective Action Plan