The Quarantine Times 34 – Pick A Lane and Stick to It

              When it comes to starting your own company, people like to think big. They like to think about all the different products and services they will provide customers. They want to think of themselves as a one stop shop. This couldn’t be more wrong of an approach. Especially when starting out, it’s important to choose a lane and stick to it. If you are a product company, pick a product and make it the best product it can be. If you are a service company, be the best at that one service you provide. You want to be known as the best at whatever you do. With additional products and services, it’s difficult to be the best at many things because you will stretch you and your resources out too thin trying to cover all your bases. Stick to what you know in the beginning and sharpen that until it can’t sharpen anymore.

              When people think of your business, there should be clear association with the one thing you do very well. For example, when people think of “A1” they think of steak sauce. When A1 tried to come out with their own ketchup what do you think happened? They were a bust. Because that lane is already taken. When people think of ketchup, they think of Heinz. Stick to what you’re good at. Now, there are outliers to this rule. However, these outliers are gigantic companies like Apple and Amazon that have the resources to be able to extend their product range. Keep in mind that this rule is more important to start ups and small businesses than it is to blue chip companies like the ones I just mentioned.

              When you come up with your product or service for your company, your goal is to have your name affiliated with that product or service that you offer. This could take years to accomplish. But that’s what it takes to build a brand. Finding an open lane is step one of creating a successful micro business. The number 1 reason why small businesses fail is that they stretch themselves too thin. When you add too many products or services to your line, you can’t possibly be the best at all of them.

Keeping a very short range of products in the beginning will help in multiple ways. For one, you will be able to focus on making your product the best it can be rather than focusing on multiple products. Because of this, you can charge more meaning your profit margins will be higher. You will save yourself a lot of time and stress because there is less on your plate to worry about. And finally, you will have an easier time of achieving your goal of your company being affiliated with that one thing that you do better than anybody else. This is what you want in the beginning. Once you have become so profitable and cant’ grow anymore with the resources you have, then it’s time to expand. But don’t do so until this diminishing returns happens. Amazon started off by selling just books online. Then once that became successful and there wasn’t any more room to grow, that’s when they expanded.

              Picking one product or service when starting out is the first step of becoming successful. You will save yourself a lot of time, money, and stress by doing so. And you will have an easier time of becoming the best at what you do. Pick that one thing, and put all your effort into that. It is the best and easiest way to build a brand. Do not complete in the beginning. Pick a lane that’s open and stick to it and become known as the best place for that product.

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