How do I focus my small business?
This is one of the more common questions asked of me when I’m at speaking engagements or events. Candidly, it is a struggle I face as well. Opportunities abound for those of us with entrepreneurial instincts. But where do we plant our flag or make our stand?
For me, it was the idea of On-Purpose® well over 25 years ago. I can’t explain to you why this message came into my spirit and into my life. I didn’t ask for it. I didn’t seek it.
I expected to be a real estate mogul as a Florida-based commercial real estate developer. Through a bumpy series of twists and turns and near bankruptcy, I landed on On-Purpose. And I’ve stayed there with my focus.
Here’s my dirty little secret, however. There’s an old expression about niches that says, “You’re better off being an inch wide and a mile deep.” But what do you do when you are an inch wide, a mile deep, and then you go a mile wide again?
You see, being in and out of focus is risky at any depth. Some of the world’s largest brands will lose focus and go away. Ask shareholders from Polaroid, Enron, Bethlehem Steel, Pets.com, PanAm, DeLorean Motor Company, and Washington Mutual Bank.
I’ve been there sitting in my office staring at the walls or my computer monitor. My mind swirls with a hundred different items on my mental To Do List, but I watch another stupid YouTube video of bloopers, flash mobs, or pets or people doing funny stuff.
You’ve been there, too. You haven’t a clue what to do next because everything seems important.
Your brain is fried so you need a mental break. By default, you open up your email so at least you’re keeping up with something. A couple of hours pass at the keyboard and your true “To Do List” is only 50% longer, and a half of a day is now spent passing around pixels.
A sinking feeling leaves you even more overwhelmed and now adds personal disappointment with yourself. Ugh! How do I go about organizing the business? How do I get more focused and productive?
Admit it, you know this scenario all too well. I do! And it bugs you because it is sabotaging your business, your dreams, and your finances. With so much on the line, you wonder, How can I be so stuck?
The Really Big Problem
Over the decades of working with business owners, this “Stuck Staring” pattern is most often associated with an ill-defined business—one being run ad hoc, in the absence of a plan.
While brilliant ideas abound in your brain, there’s no blueprint to build the business. Would you hire a home builder to construct your house who didn’t have blueprints? Yet, you’ll build your business without a blueprint.
There’s a reason most SOHO (small office, home office) or what I call Solo Owners don’t write their plans. It is rationalized as “the desire for flexibility and responsiveness to opportunity.” It’s BS. Unfortunately, keeping your options open typically results in a cycle of learning—but not one of earning.
The secret to building your business is to create an economically efficient engine of profit that is anchored deeply in your purpose and one for which you’re willing to pay the price. In other words, you’re passionate about it. Once the engine is up and running, you can afford to invest in your other ideas. Depth, not breadth, is essential. This takes discipline and commitment … to a well-designed, thoughtful, written plan.
Most small businesses don’t have written business plans or even powerpoint presentations. They would benefit from them. At On-Purpose Partners we offer a unique way to orient and organize your business around what matters the most—your purpose.
Learn more about the On-Purpose Business Plan. Using this link, invest the time to watch a 9-minute video about On-Purpose Business Plans and why they are different and helpful for solo owners to CEOs.
Candidly inquire of yourself, Just how is my plan working? If you’re not getting the results of speed to market, cash flow, and profits, then please consider a mentoring On-Purpose Executive Coaching program.
Better yet, come to Orlando and let’s invest the time needed designing your business so it is on-purpose. My team and I will bring order, focus, clarity, and direction to your business enterprise by guiding and codifying your business plan and model. Organizing the business is a couple of clicks and a few hours away. The ROI will be amazing!