Unfocused Business

If you’ve ever tried to convince someone of the merits of your business idea, then you may have experienced the pitfalls on an unfocused business. If you adequately thought things through in advance you may have avoided that unfortunate experience.

What Am I Talking About?

Many of you have probably watched the TV show where entrepreneurs come on and try to convince investors to invest in their business. Some seem to be ready to sell their concept in a convincing manner. Others, unfortunately, have not done their homework. They have a business (although sometimes it is only a concept) but when they give their presentation it is clear they don’t really understand what the value proposition of their business really is. Sometimes their comments are all over the place, even to the extent that it is unclear exactly how they expect to make a profit. That is what I mean by an unfocused business.

What is the Point?

Quite frankly, what I’m driving at is the necessity of spending some time thinking in depth as to just what you are selling. As you have probably heard all too often, you’re not really selling a product or a service, but rather a benefit. That benefit could be anything from improving someone’s view of themselves (think clothing for example) or a solution to a problem (an example would be something like a gutter guard that eliminates the need for annually climb a ladder to clean gutters). But note, when any of these product are advertised the focus is not on the product but rather on the benefit for the customer.

Looking Back

In a post I wrote some time ago called The Business Plan – Hold On to the Napkin we looked at the idea of keeping a business plan simple. The reason was that it is easier to see exactly what you are trying to accomplish and have a basic roadmap for doing so. That does not mean you won’t ever have a detailed business plan, as some businesses really have a need for that. However, my observation over a number of years is that a detailed business plan is often stuck in a drawer or file cabinet and forgotten. I think that is often because the time to use it is prohibitive and it also tends to be inflexible.

So, I think one of the best things you can do to avoid having an unfocused business is to have a very simple plan that sketches out to basics of your business; things such as what the products and services you offer will do for the customer, how you will key in to the customers’ emotions so that they make a connection to your offering, how you will price your offerings, etc. But remember, people are not static so your business plan needs to be flexible enough to allow for rapid adaptation to a changing marketplace.

When it comes to developing a clear focus for your business, keep it to the few essentials that you can refer back to often.

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.

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