When starting one’s business, a set of people will advice you to keep a sharp focus when it comes to offerings or purpose. Another group might suggest offering as many products or services as possible, to minimize risk. And both groups could defend their views till the cows come home.
However, in most cases, it is most prudent for you to start your venture with a relatively sharp focus, ideally with 1 offering. So that means, you can’t start an eCommerce site and try to rival Amazon’s breadth of categories on day 1. But it also doesn’t mean you start with offering only women’s’ jackets on your e-store. It could mean a focus on selling the latest European fashion online, in which case, that, is your focus. It’s what your customers should know you for.
It doesn’t mean the company should not diversify. What it does mean, is it should diversify within the sharp focus. When you need an app built, will you remember the person who builds apps? Or will you remember someone who builds apps, does web development, content development and social media marketing among other things?
Being an automotive company that builds premium sports cars is memorable. Being a auto manufacturer who builds low-cost hatchbacks, premium sedans and rugged SUVs on day 1 will not register in a customer’s mind.
While a lot of startups struggle to sharpen focus, a lot of older companies too, lose focus with each passing year. And it affects growth, whether or not they acknowledge or even realize it.
A scene from one of my favourite movies, Andaz Apna Apna perfectly captures the thoughts an unfocused mind.