The single biggest mistake that nearly every small business owner or personal brand makes, and the reason that they are losing sales to competitors is that they do not have clarity early on.
Every small business thinks that they need to offer as many services as possible and reach the largest audience possible on the most platforms as possible.
That could not be further from the truth.
Let’s discuss this.
Say you see an ad that says, “Landscaping, house cleaning, car cleaning, flooring installation, business consulting… We can do it all!”.
That tells me that they are just willing to do anything to earn a dollar. What that also tells me is that I cannot have confidence that they are an “expert” at any of those things.
And that may not be true. They may actually be experts at all of those things. But it’s the perception that matters.
Now let’s say you saw an ad that says, “We’ve been installing flooring for 10 years. We have 4.7-star ratings on Google Reviews. We are an A+ rated business on BBB. We’re fully licensed, bonded, and insured. Call us today for a FREE quote.”.
If you need flooring installed, who are you going to call? Example A or Example B?
Who is losing sales to competitors in this scenario?
Perception Is Important
Perception tells me that the company in Example B is certainly a better flooring company. Why? Because they are the experts at doing that ONE thing.
If you want to make sure that you are capitalizing on every opportunity for a sale and you want to be the “expert” in your market, you have to make sure that you’re not muddling your marketing message.
Your marketing message needs to clearly state that you are the expert at ONE thing.
Lack of focus means losing sales to competitors
So often I see people starting up one, two or three businesses at a time and they try to market them all together. They start a second or a third business before they ever truly got the first business off the ground. As a result, they end up spreading their time, energy, and resources too thin to really be successful at any of them.
In other cases, there may just be one business involved, but with multiple marketing messages. The branding is all over the place. There is no consistency in the content.
Successful companies do it. Why can’t I?
We get the idea that the proper methodology to starting a business is to offer as many services and as many products as possible because we see highly successful companies like Walmart, Amazon, and Target doing it.
These massively successful businesses with an international presence offer hundreds and thousands of products and services.
The average Walmart supercenter has over 120,000 products in-stock at all times.
Target isn’t too far behind.
Amazon offers digital storage products, physical products, video streaming, web data services, and a whole lot more.
It’s easy to see why people think that they need to do the same with their business.
Every successful business focused on one thing at the beginning
Target started out as an “upscale discount store” where you may not get the cheapest product, but it will be close AND (the best part) your level of service and experience in-store will definitely be better than any other discount store. One could say that Target’s focus has always been “service” based, not “product” based.
Amazon started out selling books and that is what they were known for.It was an online book store and that was their sole focus. It was not until they had over 1,000,000+ buyer accounts registered on the online bookstore that they started looking at expanding the products that they sell. The rest is history.
As soon as each one of these companies developed a laser focus on the one thing that they would offer, their growth exploded.
The bottom line is this: If you want to grow quickly and stop losing sales to competitors, you have to focus in on that ONE THING that you are an expert at. The one thing that you want people to know you for.
Despite their massive growth into multiple markets and niche’s, Amazon is still known for their books to this very day. That’s how powerful their initial focus was.
Three steps to stop losing sales to competitors
Hopefully, at this point, you are convinced that you need to focus on what it is that your business is going to offer. If that’s the case, here are the three things you need to hammer down to get started:
Eliminate the vagueness of what it is you do. Have extreme clarity and speak directly to a single audience (not to the entire world).
Have a laser-like focus. Hone in on your craft. Hone in your marketing content, your branding, your story, your products, or your services. Don’t do anything else.
Dial-in on your vision so that you can clearly see the future. Focus on it and be consistent day in and day out. Outline the 50 steps that it takes to make your vision a reality and then focus on 1 step at a time. Once you’ve finished that step, then focus on the next.
You don’t have to be the next Amazon
If you’re still reading this article… Just keep in mind, you do not need to offer a million products or services like Amazon. Not now, not ever.
Once you have become the expert in your niche, and you have stopped losing sales to competitors, you can dominate your market without ever needing to “expand” to other things.
The local septic tank company has been here for 50+ years. That’s all he does. He’s the “expert” at that one thing. People have asked him to do other plumbing related work, but he sticks strictly to septic tanks.
The donut and coffee shop in my small town has been here for well over a decade. That’s all she does. She’s the “expert” at that one thing. People have asked if she would open another location, or offer more goods, but she sticks with what she’s the expert at.
The metal fabrication company has been doing its thing for 20+ years. That’s all he does. He’s the “expert” at that one thing. People have asked if he can do other metal fabrication work like customized metal signage, but he sticks with what he loves.
Have clarity. Have focus. Have vision.
Become the expert in your niche before you do anything else.