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Stick to the knitting – focus on your core business

Small business owners who are looking to grow their business are often tempted by the idea of diversifying into other products or services.  However, a countless number of business ventures fail utterly when their owners decided to diversify away from the core of the original business.  Expanding into other product lines or services takes a large amount of time, effort, and resources.  

 When a business doesn’t have enough of these to handle the expansion, you end up with a situation where both the new and old ventures suffer.  This is particularly the case for newly-established small businesses that have very limited resources to begin with. In the early stages of your small business, it is vital that you stay focused on your core business and its true strengths.  

 In order to make the most out of your limited resources, you need to identify what it is that your business does best and concentrate on it.  Related and unrelated endeavours will distract away from what your business does best.  Your business may be involved in many things, but there has to be something that it does better than anything else.  

The Coca Cola Company, for example, produces a myriad of different drinks, but its main product is undeniably Coke.  If the company were to stop selling Coke, it wouldn’t survive.  So how do you get clear about what your core business is?  

You can start by asking yourself these questions: 

1. If you were forced to eliminate all of your products and services, and could only keep the one that is most crucial to the survival of your business, which one would it be? 

2. Why would a customer do business with you instead of a competitor?  What does he get from you that he can’t get from your competitor or anyone else? 

3. What one product or service is so important to your business that you would be willing to lose some customers for it? 

4. If your best customer had to deliver a 30-second speech about your company, what would he tell his audience? 

Answering these questions will help you to define what your core business is.  When you concentrate on your core business, you maximise the value you deliver to your customers by satisfying a critical need.  You also build-up your reputation and you’re identified with providing a certain product or service.  

Your customers will be attracted to you because they know with certainty that you will deliver what they need.  This is the best way to become a leader in your market.  So stick to the knitting, and focus on your core business!

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