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”.