Are you an entrepreneur who isn’t dreaming of dominating a market?
Usually, those of us who think of ourselves as entrepreneurs decided to do what we’re doing because we want to make a difference, change the world, and be a leader.
Those very admirable, lofty goals usually find us dreaming big, with lots of product ideas. A sizeable initial product suite is generally tough to manage; investors know this, so they will approach startups that aren’t as focused with greater skepticism than a startup with a well-developed single product.
Powerful Businesses Can Begin with a Micro Focus
If you fear not making a difference due to starting small, think again. Google has many product offerings now, but in the beginning, they did one thing, and they did it well: a search engine. Initially, Apple only offered personal computers. Wal-Mart’s focus was on low prices. Facebook started super basic, too. It was initially just a website designed to connect the people within the Harvard University community.
Eight Reasons For a Focused Startup Business Plan
While the temptation to start your big dream with a broad set of offerings might be great, we’d like to present you with reasons why we believe an initially focused offering is a faster path to success.
- Your message is clear. When you present to potential investors, you will have a limited amount of time with them. Investors want to instantly understand what you are bringing to the table and why. This environment forces you to have a crystal clear message about what you are offering. Talking about one product is far easier to focus on than focusing on many and will be far more memorable to your potential investors.
- You will be in tune with your specific audience. If you define a small set of problems rather than a broad set, you will likely also be able to identify who it is you are trying to serve. The more clearly you can define your primary target audience, the more your audience will feel connected to you. A connected audience that feels like you are reading their mind will be a loyal, vocal advocate for your offering.
- Easily define your team’s goals and tasks. The more focused your business plan is, the easier it will be to identify what your team needs to do. You will also be able to dedicate more resources to the necessary tasks, which should increase the odds of higher-quality outcomes.
- Time to market is critical. Building a successful product is challenging. Each additional product adds an exponential amount of extra time and complexity to your initial launch, which will slow down your time to market. The slower you are at launching, the more opportunity you give to other competitors (especially those with a more focused offering) to beat you to gaining investors and customers.
- Keep infrastructure costs low. Every business needs some equipment and infrastructure. Also, there will be ongoing development costs. The higher your expenses, the more you’ll need from investors. And the larger your infrastructure, the higher the odds that you won’t get things right the first time. You can go with traditional banks, equipment loans, equipment lease, and personal loans if you need financing.
- Need to be nimble. Every successful startup I know has had to “dodge and weave” or quickly pivot as they learn what their customers want and what works in product design and marketing. Bloated products and the grand unifying “theory of everything” won’t allow you to adapt quickly to market changes and mistakes made.
- Innovate to market leadership. Market leadership is made up of many components, such as superior quality, thoughtful customer service, and innovative solutions that evolve as the market matures. To meet these high standards, you will need a team in tune with the details and feedback they receive; this will be very difficult to have if they need to divide their attention amongst many offerings at one time.
- Personal bandwidth is limited. When things become too messy and complicated, and even you are not sure of priorities, people get disillusioned, tired, lose motivation, and tend to give up easily. A laser focus is easier to communicate, more manageable, and has higher odds of getting done quickly and well.
Remember that most people can confidently and competently accomplish one thing at a time, and most customers are only looking for one thing at a time. After you saturate the market with your focused offering, then you will have the time and resources to broaden your offering.