April’s story of success
Small and local business owners need to choose a very narrow market. When they do, we assure them they will make more money. Here’s a voice mail I got yesterday from one company who went narrow. It’s much more powerful than any theory.
April used to be a solo practitioner. Now she owns a company with a growing number of employees and a business that is exploding. She did it by dropping 99.9% of her potential market and focusing extremely narrowly on only one tiny facet of her market. It happens all the time when we convince companies to focus narrowly. April’s is just one of innumerable stories we hear all the time as we challenge small and local companies to go narrow, not wide.
April used to be a Virtual Assistant, just like thousands of others. And just like thousands of others, all she could say is that she is better than the other thousands, which is what they other thousands would say, too. They all sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher. Then April decided to stop being a Virtual Assistant to the world like all the other thousands, and started focusing solely on real estate agents.
Narrow and Deep, not Broad and Shallow
But she went even narrower. She took the leap to focus not just on real estate agents, but solely on helping them manage their online services – not the standard SEO or online marketing that thousands do – she doesn’t do that; but just helping them manage their online writing, data and pictures – posting new properties, blogs, data, customer records, potential leads, etc. This is an extremely narrow niche, not just with real estate agents, and not just online, but only a very specific part of the online presence.
This was scary to do, because, as with any really good narrowing down of a business, she was leaving behind 99.9% of the potential customers available to all the other thousands of Virtual Assistants like what she used to be. But as soon as she made the switch last year, she stopped sounding like Charlie Brown’s teacher, started making more money and started bringing on real estate agents.
Results Speak Louder Than Words
Soon she had one entire office of 60 real estate agents using her company to administrate their online services, and was bringing on smaller offices as well. She started taking on employees from the thousands of Virtual Assistants out there who had not narrowed their services and were now looking for jobs, and her business has been growing ever since. I got this voice mail from her yesterday:
“I just wanted to let you know how 3to5 Club training is just continuing to change my life. I just decided to meet up with a potential major strategic partner connected to the 60-person real estate office, with much bigger real estate connections. When I explained to him what I’m doing and how I’ve narrowed my business down to only managing online real estate company services, getting that specific – he was so excited he almost did cartwheels. He said, “I don’ t know anyone else doing this. We have to package this for the other offices.
Long story short – he is introducing me to seven other company offices in the next three months. So we will go from having 60 agents to all 560 agents. It’s so great. Honestly, I would not be where I’m at without your wisdom and advice and 3to5 Club’s encouragement and belief in me all this time. It turns out that what we are doing is so specific that it is cutting edge for real estate marketing.
Just wanted to say thank you so much and I hope you have a great weekend.”
Focus, Focus, Focus…
I have NEVER seen a small or local company go narrow and lose money doing it. Never. They always make more money if they stick with it. But I’ve seen more than I can count go out of business by trying to be all things to all people. They rarely make more money. At best they grow their revenue along with their expenses and end up a lot busier, more stuck on the treadmill, with higher revenue but with no more profit. But usually their revenue goes down along with their profit.
Want to make more money? Stop doing everything, and just do one thing. You can do “everything” later, after you build a successful company around one thing.
Stop taking advice from Giant Corporation, Inc.’s story. Take it from April. Do one thing, very narrowly. The more narrow your niche, the more likely you are to make money.