The best business advice I’ve ever received came from “Uncle Brian.” Brian was the uncle of my business partner in my former business, an industry research company called First Research. Early on, Brian saw that we were not staying focused on the core market we had set out to serve – banks. He sent us an email that was titled, “Focus, Focus, Focus. Dominate, Dominate, Dominate.” He went on to make the case that we needed to quit trying to explore new markets, and spend 100% of our focus on banks. Only with a clear focus could we become a “must have” for banks and dominate our market. We took his advice. And we dominated. Within a few years 95 of the top 100 largest U.S. and Canadian banks were customers.
If you own a business, it’s often easy to think of all of the great possibilities for your product, and all of the markets you could potentially serve. It’s easy to get distracted by all of the noise and all of the stuff surrounding your focus, as in the picture over there on the right. Notice how busy and noisy that picture is unless you, well, focus 100% on the word “focus.”
We’re of course 100% focused at Schedulefly on serving restaurants. Our product development, our marketing, and everything we do and every decision we make centers on trying to dominate our segment – restaurants. Sure, we have customers in other industries. They run free trials and, since Schedulefly is so flexible, it works for their needs. And we’re very happy to serve them. But we don’t focus any energy on trying to find anybody but restaurants to use Schedulefly. And any time we add a new tool or make an enhancement, it simply has to be valuable to our restaurant customers.
We haven’t dominated our market yet. Nobody has. The market is enormous and we’re on the front end of a trend to move restaurant scheduling and communication online. But we are definitely already a key player in our space, and we have a laser focus on dominating it. We’ll see what happens. I wouldn’t bet against us – and that’s not a cocky statement. Rather, it’s a statement made from the confidence of knowing that all of us wake up every day with a very clear, crisp focus.
Software. Retail. Restaurants. Pick your industry. If you own a business, figure out what segment you are really good at serving, and then focus, focus, focus. Eventually you’ll dominate, dominate, dominate.
Wil @ Schedulefly