When it comes to startup entrepreneurs, one of the key factors of getting started is the key word: Focus. What should they focus on to get them going?
Have you heard of the comment, “What you focus on is what you get!” It’s true. The same thing goes for seeing a glass half empty or half full. If all you see is obstacles and not your vision of accomplishing something it is demotivating. But even if you focus on the positive, what do you focus on?
I once was working a job at a small retail company and the Regional Director was visiting and “motivating” us by stating, “Focus, focus, focus!” But of course, most of the people took that and ran “fast” with what they saw, but each in their own direction with activities that, while helpful to the business, were actually NOT the right priorities for the business. Her leadership skills were fear based and while they were “detailed,” her motivation did not embrace what the priority of the organization’s goals were. It was a scattered view of “getting it all done and fast,” it intentionally “blurred” everyone’s focus costing the company time, money and resources.
So, as any startup entrepreneur, here’s a short list of what to focus on:
- Product – putting in all of the features necessary and getting the product out the door.
- Competition – seeing what your competition is doing and not letting them out of your sight and ensuring you’re better than they are.
- Ideal Customer – what are your customer’s needs and wants.
So, what do you think a startup should focus on?
Here’s the wrong answers:
- Product – focusing solely on your product and building the most complete and perfect Swiss Army knife for your ideal customer takes time and resources, and maybe no one will want it. Therefore, you’ve wasted your resources and reduces your profit potential.
- Competition – if you focus on what your competition is doing even THEY can miss the boat of what a customer wants and needs. If they’re heading down the wrong path, they just get there sooner than you do. Don’t chase your competition’s bunny trial which may lead to a dead end.
These are the correct answers in the correct order of priority:
- Focus on your ideal customer’s needs and wants, it is here that you spend your time and effort so that they are willing to give you their money for your solutions.
- Product – when you focus on your ideal customer and their needs and wants your product becomes the result of that time and effort.
- Competition – while focusing on your customer’s needs and wants you’ll then focus on your product and services, but you need to keep your competition in your peripheral vision, not completely out of sight, but still in view and not your main focus.
A focused priority will keep you moving ahead in the right direction.
- 3 Tips for Startups to Survive (smallbizbee.com)
- Some Startups Forget to Validate a Business Model (businessinsider.com)
- Master Class: Looking for Focus? Ask Your Customers! (guidewiregroup.com)