When starting a business there are many mistakes that one can make. Having a corporate mindset, not being aggressive, not sticking with it, not learning as they go, listening to average people, and so on and so forth. Yet there is a mistake that I see done over and over again. And the businesses that it doesn’t destroy completely it still keeps from growing at a rate much faster then they are. It either stunts their growth or it kills them. Neither things that we want for our entrepreneurial ventures. If you want to get big in business then you have the follow this key otherwise you’ll be stuck in the minor leagues (or on the bench) much longer then needed.
When entering into the marketplace most people sit down and think “Hey the more customers I can get the more money I’ll make and the better off that I’ll be” and I mean on the surface it makes sense. After all the more customers you have then the more customers that buy your service or product then the more money you make…right? Well yes right but there’s more to the story then that. You see most when starting out in business throw out a great wide net trying to catch as many people as possible which never works. The wide road is the road to financial ruin or stagnation, take the narrow road. The road that I’m about to tell you about.
Be For Someone
Let me ask you a question. Why do you vote for the people that you vote for? Root for the sports teams that you root for? Buy from your friend instead of the faceless corporation that has a much better price? Well in most of these instances it’s going to be because these people are for you and because these people are for you that automatically means that they aren’t for someone else. Is someone is running on a right wing platform for president it makes the right wingers like him more and the left winger like him less. Because when he declares who he is for and shows that he is for them he builds affinity with right wingers while alienating left wingers. Someone who toed the line and tried to appease both sides would never be elected anywhere and would be out of a job rather quickly.
Being in business isn’t much different. Not saying you should purposely alienate people but rather that you should be for someone. Let me give you an example that illustrates this point perfectly. Alright pretend for a moment that you are a lumberjack and that you are at the store looking for a new ax. There are three models before you all look relatively the same so you look at the brand name. On is Big Box Axes, you’ve heard of them before and it’s the cheapest. The second is Red’s Family Ax, Red is the store owner and he’s a pretty nice guy though his ax is a little more expensive. The third is Honest Joe’s Lumberjack’s Ax and on it is a picture of a lumberjack and hey what do you know it kinda looks like you! Though it is the most expensive of the bunch. Which ax are you going to buy?
Most would buy Honest Joe’s Lumberjack Ax because it’s exactly what they need it for. You see if Honest Joe went broad and just made an ax for everybody he’d never be able to compete with Big Bix Axes because of price or Red’s Family Ax because of affinity. That is unless Honest Joe goes very specific. Sure he’ll alienate others but like said above he has to drill down in order to make it in the market. Most go broad and try to compete with Big Box and inevitably lose. Especially because at one time Big Box was probably something similar to Honest Joe’s. Meaning a niche market.
There Are Riches In Niches
Dan Kennedy is fond of saying “There are riches in niches” and having made many many entrepreneurs into wildly successfully millionaires he knows what he is talking about. You have to get specific about who you are for and then really drill down to appeal to that customers. You have to go deep before you can go big. I’ll say that again because it’s a very important point and what this key is all about you have to go deep before you can go big. Dominate the niche first and then you can think about dominating the market. If you come out of the gates going for the entire market then you are going to lose plain and simple.
Find a niche really drill down a targeted customer and then go after them. Don’t be Bob’s Pizza be Bob’s Organic Vegen Pizzeria or Bob’s Bacon & Steak Filled Pizzas or Bob’s Paleo Pizzas. You get the point. To beat both the big box stores as well as local markets where friends and connections dominate you have to be for someone and for them specifically even if it means alienating others. The more they think “Hey that’s me” the better off you’ll be. Don’t spread yourself out in the beginning you can’t afford that. You have to drill deep. Go a mile deep and an inch wide to start then down the road you can start expanding that inch.
So they key that I’m talking about that most entrepreneurs fail to grasp is you have to go deep before you can go wide. Throwing out a big net in a sea full of other fishermen (some with much bigger nets then you) isn’t going to work. You have to find what fish that you want and use everything from the color of your string to the type of bait that you use to target that particular fish. Using bland old bait like all the other fisherman only works if you have the biggest boat or the boat closest to the fish you want. Using targeted bait means you can beat them both even if you drive off other fish. So drill down first then worry about going wide.
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