Surely if you know your focus, are you will appeal to less people which will damage your business?
Intuitively it seems like a mistake to narrow are you focus and offer less, but in actual reality it strengthens your position and allows you to establish your reputation far quicker than if you were to try and offer all things, to all people.
Here's a few reasons why you might consider narrowing your focus:
Reduce your competition
By offering all things to all people, you are competing for customers against all the other rivals in your industry. By being a Pizza restaurant that also does sandwiches and burgers, you are in direct competition with other Pizza places, burger joints and sandwich shops.
If your were to narrow your focus to just offer Pizza, then now your only competition is from other Pizza places. Trying to appeal to everyone is time consuming and expensive. You end up spreading yourself too thin to make a meaningful impact in the minds of the consumer. By specialising in just one thing (eg Pizza), you can put all your time, effort and budget into establishing your reputation for just that thing (eg Pizza).
Improve your reputation through depth of knowledge
When you concentrate in one area, you can showcase a depth of knowledge not possible when you are spreading yourself to thin across several areas. By demonstrating your superior knowledge, you will begin to establish yourself as an expert.
This will earn trust and respect from your consumers, who are likely to recommend your services to others. This trust and respect plays a vital role in the next reason why you should consider narrowing your focus.
people will pay more for a specialist service
You can charge a higher rate for your services because of your depth of knowledge in that one area. People will respect your dedication to your craft and like anything, the more time you spend concentrating on something, the better you become at it.
This can be seen in the way a specialist surgeon is more sought after and can charge more than a regular doctor. When your customers want what you offer, they know that there are very few other brands that can offer the same and this level of service and expertise. This often comes with a high price that they are more than willing to pay.
You can market yourself easier
By focusing on one specific area, you get to really understand your customers - What they like, what they struggle with, what pain points they have. By knowing your audience you can market yourself in a way that speaks directly to them, in a way that really resonates. They will feel that you 'get them' and this will make you stand out even more in their minds.
You will also know when and where to deliver these messages and market your services - where they hang out, what the watch, what they read and who they spend time with. By knowing this, you won't be wasting time and resources on trying to reach everyone with a message that doesn't resonate deeply enough, but instead you can be highly targeted which is far more effective.
Easier to replicate and control if the brand grows
As demand for your services increases, you'll look to expand your brand and open up new offices/shops. But maintaining the same level of quality control is difficult if you have multiple variables to replicate. By having a narrow focus, it will be easier for you to control and more importantly reproduce the same high standards that were responsible for your business growth in the first place.
How can you do this?
Firstly you have to consider two things.
- What are you passionate about?
- Which of my services is most in demand?
It's important that you go into an specialist area you are passionate about. This passion is what will set you apart and will give you the strength and perseverance to 'stay the course'.
The second is obvious. There must be a demand for what you are offering or else your business will fail. One of the most effective ways to establish what is in demand is to apply the Pareto Principle and do an 80/20 audit of your business.
This basically alludes to the fact that around 80% of your sales will come from approximately 20% of your products. The advantage of dong this is by concentrating on that 20%, you are still able to maintain 80% of your revenue whilst freeing up time to spend on narrowing your focus.
Build upward, then outward.
Many worry that if they choose to specialise in one area they won't be able to every do anything else, but this isn't true. The main reason for narrowing your focus is to build your reputation faster than by offering loads of services.
Once you have built your reputation, then you can expand your services with less risk as you have already established yourself and have a core group of loyal customers who are supportive of what you do and you have a well established reputation that builds trust in the minds of customers who are trying your new services.
However, once you start to offer more and more, it will water down your brand as you are going up against other well established specialists who have a more successful track record than you. So it's paramount that you go into it with the same commitment and approach as you did first time around.