Let’s face it…entrepreneurs hate to focus! We are great at thinking there are lots of uses for our products and services, so we target a wide audience. But, playing this game can be a big mistake. The problem is that when you try to “talk” to everybody, you end up “talking” to nobody - and I want you to remember this, as it’s extremely important. You can't “talk” to someone who makes $50,000 the same way you “talk” to somebody who makes $2 million dollars, right?
Seems obvious enough, but folks from different demographics have different wants and needs that resonate with them. For instance, a higher income individual might really care more about status or the highest level of quality, where someone in a lower demographic might be more concerned about functionality and cost. i.e. Lexus vs Toyota – both will likely get you to your destination, but…
Quite frankly, most consumers would rather buy something that solves a specific problem or meets a certain need they have, as opposed to buying something that is kind of general or very open.
What would you do?
Let's say that, God forbid, you have a brain tumor, and you go to your general practitioner and say: "Doctor, I have a brain tumor. Can you help me?" And the doctor says: "Oh! No worries, yeah, I can take care of that. I've done at least five or six of those. You know? I can operate on almost any part of the body, so it's not really a problem. Let's go ahead and schedule you for surgery, OK?” OR, would you rather walk into a doctor's office who specializes in brain surgery, for exactly your type of brain surgery. He's done thousands of these over the years and his success rate is better than 99.5%. Me, I'm going to the specialist, how about you? To the general practitioner/doctor; “Thank you doc, but I’m pursuing an alternative."
I know that's an exaggerated example, but apply that to almost anything and you you’ll get more clarity on my point. So, here you are, doing this in your day-to-day life anyway. Why not just apply that philosophy to what the people you're selling to are doing as well?
Which business would you buy from?
Let's say that I am just starting out as a skier and I want to go and buy a set of skis. Where would I go to do that? Now, I am going to need some guidance and direction. Would I go to a place like Costco perhaps, or maybe even one of the large big box sporting goods stores that might sell a plethora of different sporting equipment? Or, should I go to my local ski shop, where I can find skiing experts? Maybe the owner is a championship skier, and maybe all the staff members ski religiously as it’s their main passion?
I'm going to walk into that local ski shop and take advantage of their expertise and specialization. I’ll likely even pay a bit more for those skis in that specialty ski shop - but gosh, darn! - I would rather go there and spend a little bit more money and get the right skis from the get go, rather than go into a big box store and basically just be kind of lost.
Again, apply those same ideas to your business and the targeting of your audience. My intent is not to pigeon-hole you so that you have no target market, but for you to focus enough where it makes sense to the consumer. And, importantly, the messages you communicate resonate well with your target market.
Get really good at focusing your message to a targeted group. Yes, it’s going to bother you because it’s contrary to everything in your DNA, right? But, force yourself to focus - and then begin to expand your target market as your business grows.
So, a final plea; please, please, please....DO NOT try to be all things to all people…the fatal mistake of so many entrepreneurs. Need help? Reach out. We love helping entrepreneurs succeed.