Staying focused like a laser

Laser Focus

I see it all the time.  The light goes on and suddenly it is the next big thing. Everything else, every other idea was worthless, this was the one.  Time to drop everything and start this right away.

Ideas will come and go, what you need to concentrate on is keeping your end goal in mind.  A lot of businesses take a shotgun approach instead of staying laser focused and concentrating on the things that matter, the ideas that will bring them to the next level.

While pursuing every idea that comes about may work for some companies, it is not really plausible for small businesses.  You simply do not have the man power to pursue every idea.  People that pursue may different ideas are considered to take a shotgun approach, you take a shot and hope one sticks.  Business that focus on a core of products and services are like lasers, very precise instruments that cause mass amounts of penetration into their target market.

Shotguns just don’t work for small businesses

Staying focused can be harder than it seems.  It is so easy to run off on all those tangents.  The problem with this is you “do a little bit on a lot of things.” Something I often see happen to people that take the shotgun approach is that they have a lot of projects started with none of them finished.  They are all in some phase, but not complete because they always move onto the next idea before completely finishing the first.

A lot of business owners fall into this trap simply because they feel they have to constantly innovate to stay ahead of the competition.  Well innovation is great, but your customers want a product or your great service, not a half finished idea.

It is very difficult to sell 5 products that are 70% complete while selling one product that has had all of your attention is a lot easier.  Find your one product and knock it out of the park.

Be a laser (because they are cool)

Besides being cool, taking a laser approach is often times the best way for a small business to increase efficiency and maximize profits.  By staying on task and following through with things to completion you will have more complete products, and therefore more to provide your customers.

While it may be difficult to change from a shotgun to a laser it will be worth it in the end.

What ideas are worth it?

Ahh the age old question, “how to prioritize?”  I will give you a hint.  Their is no right answer that encompasses all business models.  However their is one thing you can do to make sure you are never a shotgun again.

Know your goals.

By having a clear list of goals (try to keep this short) you will know what the next step is and what is going to drive your small business to the next level.  Your goals are like a roadmap for your success and should be looked at often.  Especially whenever you are thinking about going down a different path or pursuing a new idea.

Everytime you hit that fork in the road, a new idea comes up, or you realize you are going off on a tangent think to yourself “will this get me any closer to my goal?”

Where to from here?

So what are you waiting for!  Take a couple of minutes and think about what your goals really are.  Don’t stop there though, write them out on a piece of paper, somewhere permanent and if you ever question the next step just remember to ask yourself “how does this get me closer to my goal”.

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Comments

  1. says

    Good stuff. Being a small business owner is easier said then done. These all are good points that I take into consideration when making goals for me and my company!

  2. says

    My first visit to this blog, and here I found a lot of interesting content related to business, thank you for sharing .. I enjoy reading your posts

  3. says

    One thing I’ve found really helpful in my business is working with an accountability partner. We sit down every few months with a list of things we each want to achieve, and help each other set priorities and make a plan. We then stay in contact on a weekly basis to report on our progress. I’ve achieved so much this year because of this process!

  4. says

    I am not sure if it is my ADHD or what, but I am rarely ever focused. Did you write this for me?

    I have a three year old boy that “needs” my attention and approval every second I am home. Focusing is currently a huge struggle.

    My current projects do not have any goals and I really need to write some things down. Thanks for the excellent post.

    • says

      Hi Brian,

      Thanks you for checking out the post! If you felt like it was written for you, that is because it was! I wrote this for anyone attempting to accomplish something, but just can not stay focused on the prize! Figure out your goals and the steps it will take to achieve them and write it down! Post this somewhere so every time you feel like the ADHD kicks in, you have something to bring you back down to earth.

      As for the 3 year old, maybe try to set 1 hr every day that you are going to work on something. Maybe you have to get up earlier or stay up a little later, but get it done and stick with it!

      Chris

  5. says

    Hi Chris, I like the analogy you have used. Spreading yourself to wide is never a good strategy early on. It’s better to keep things simple and get a few easy projects completed before committing to too many. When you are a bigger workforce you can run more projects at once. Its all a question of promise and expectation.

    And yes, lasers are cool :)

    • says

      Hi Jackson,

      Even when you are a bigger workforce I think it is important to have everyone working towards those goals. Even as a larger workforce it can be bad to spread too thin, keeping your eye on the prize is important. Look at apple, one of the biggest companies in the world and they have like 5 or 6 core products.

      -Chris

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