Diversifying your business without losing focus

Sometimes opportunities - even lucrative ones - can be unwelcome distractions and core business suffers as a result. And core business is, after all, what your business is all about. Customers come to you for a reason - and you need to make sure that you're delivering whatever it is to the best standards you can, rather than spreading yourself too thinly across a disparate range of products and services. This guide helps you understand why and how to do that, by looking at:

  • How a lack of focus can damage your business
  • Why focusing on core business helps
  • How to stay focused

How a lack of focus can damage your business

Spending time and resources developing new areas will necessarily mean that time and resources are being taken away from the core areas of your business - and quality and consistency typically suffer as a result. Staff who may have joined because of a particular interest in your original field of business may lack the knowledge and enthusiasm to succeed in new areas, and you too may find yourself floundering if you move into unknown territories just for the sake of it.

  • Resources are re-allocated away from core business, which suffers as a result
  • You and staff may not have a real interest in new areas, so making them less likely to succeed

Why focusing on core business helps

You devote more time to refining and learning more about the product or service that concerns your core business - making you more of an expert both in terms of your knowledge and the way in which the customer sees you. Unless you're a supermarket (whose whole point is extensiveness of product range), customers prefer quality to quantity. It's quality that gives you the competitive edge. Focusing on core business keeps staff focused on key objectives rather than confusing them with lots of different areas. And sticking to one area also guides customers, rather than confusing them.

  • Become more expert in core areas
  • Quality is preferable to quantity
  • Keeps staff focused on key objectives
  • Helps keep customers satisfied rather than confused

How to stay focused

Run every new idea and external proposition by your original USPs and vision for the business, and keep any expansion completely in line with them. Always think about what your existing customers come to you for. Don't stray from what you know and what you're good at - if you want to expand your product range, only develop products that are similar to what you already sell. This has the added advantage of enabling cross-selling to existing customers. If you don't offer a particular service or product, recommend your customer to a competitor or other business that does. Helpfulness and openness can go a lot further than an expanded product range.

  • Run new ideas and propositions by your original USPs and vision
  • Always think about what your customers come to you for - keep your product range consistent
  • If you don't offer a product or service, recommend customers to a business that does

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