“We must choose a focus. Then articulate that focus via a consistent claim of expertise. And finally, we must work to add the missing skills, capabilities and processes necessary to support our new claim.” — Blair Enns, The Win Without Pitching Manifesto
One of the many problems with trying to expand into profit is that we become less good at what we’re best at.
Opening an additional location makes it harder to operate a single one well.
Increasing our service offering increases the complexity of working with clients.
Adding features to our product makes it harder to keep the first ones working properly.
That’s not to say that we should never expand.
Only that we can’t expand into profit. Instead, we have finance our growth by earning profit.
The first step, though, is focus. It’s getting uncannily, uncommonly good at what it is we do best.
We increase our capabilities, not our offering.
We increase our skills, not our locations.
And we increase our confidence in our claims, not our number of service offerings.
Profit allows for expansion, not the other way around.
Step 1: Consider
Action: If you had to choose one single service offering, speciality, or product to focus on, which would you choose, and why?
Time: 2 minutes
Step 2: Demonstrate
Action: Write a short note to a friend explaining why what you chose is so valuable to your very best customers.
Time: 3 minutes
Step 3: Revise
Action: Edit your note to fit the context and format of a LinkedIn post, and consider posting it today. If you hesitate, ask yourself why.
Time: 2 minutes