Whenever I hear the word focus, I always think back to the Simpsons episode where Bart gets put on Focusin, a special drug to help him concentrate in class, but then it sends him slightly crazy. Now in reality, parents would never put their children on mind altering drugs to control their behaviour. Hence we won’t talk about that right now.
The main issue of focus in regards to business, is to help you look at a number of key areas to concentrate your mind and energies on things that will maximise business growth and effectiveness. However, in a world that’s always switched on and bombarding people with information, it’s often hard to focus on anything. The only time I really see people focusing on one single thing, is when I hear the screech of brakes and look around to see someone crossing the street like a zombie looking at the phone. I'm amazed more haven't scored Darwin Awards for this talents pastime.
Whilst most individuals can bumble through and get away with a complete lack of focus in their lives, for business, focus is absolutely critical to success. Not long ago, I was speaking at a business chamber function about what I was up to. Afterwards there was a Q & A session. Someone commented, quite negatively I thought, about the fact that my business could do so much more in so many other industries. Why had I kept it just in one? ‘Isn't that stopping your growth?’ ‘Why don't you do this or that?’ I remember hearing.
Focus is hard! Especially when you're building a business from scratch. The reality is that things are flying at you from every direction. You're overwhelmed with tasks you have to do. From admin, to finance, to product development, to marketing, to sales! There's so much to manage, not to mention all the random spanners that get thrown into works as well! How the hell can you focus on anything at all?
That's a good point! To be effective you need to delegate some of the time consuming tasks that need to be done, but are not core to sales. Look at all of the things that somebody else could do (most likely even better than you can) and let them do them for you.
Now you've off-loaded time consuming admin, you can focus on what you really need to be doing. In the early stages of a business, it's vital that you keep your focus, otherwise trying to do too many things, or serve too many masters is a potential business killer in itself. What's going to bring you the best result? Who are going to be your best customers? Firstly, through really understanding your target customer, and then focussing on how you can deliver the best solution to their problem, you can ensure that all of your efforts can be focussed in on maximising engagement with someone who’s going to make the decision to buy. Not everyone is a decision maker. Not everyone wants or needs your products, so the faster you can narrow it down to who does, the faster you can turn these leads into sales and at the end of the day, that's what business should all be about, solving a specific real world problem in a really effective way. Once you've done that, growth will come in the most positive and sustainable way.
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