I was talking to a friend the other day that is starting a new business. He has developed an interesting concept that can be used in multiple ways in very industries.
He told me he is writing a business plan and he can go 20 different ways. (Almost a badge of honor)
I asked him what do you want to focus on first? and …………….. How will you know you are successful?
The danger is spreading yourself too thin and not doing anything well.
David Wasilewski, the founder of WhatNext.com, recently gave a talk at the TechPoint Innovation Summit titled Focus on One Thing and Make it Remarkable. In a former life David was one of the founders of Spanx, a company specializing in very high-end women’s undergarments.
According to David find and target a passionate niche in the marketplace, deliver a superior product or service and turn those very satisfied customers into evangelists to sell others.
It worked at Spanx. A small group of women wanted what Spanx, and no other clothing distributor, had. David and his team only made a few products in multiple sizes but they made sure they delivered on their promises. They focused on doing one thing exceeding well. The customers rewarded the company with repeat orders and, more importantly, recommendations to their friends.
David then went and started WhatNext.com, a website that connects patients with medical problems to share stories and experiences with others. The company initially targeted a wide array of disease states. Acceptance among patients and the medical community was slow. There were too many diseases, widely different customers. Their efforts were diluted.
Then, according to Wasilewski, he remembered his own advice to focus on one thing. The company changed its strategy and now only focuses on cancer. As a result over the past year the number of participants has increased exponentially.
It is very tempting for an entrepreneur to try to be all things to all people. The advice I’m hearing is focus, aim at a specific target audience, find out what they want, make them feel special, deliver on your promises, and encourage them to tell others. Never forget that your success comes from satisfying your customer. Celebrate that success with them!
Until next time – all the best!
photo credit: psdGraphics