Now that I’m starting my third year as a business owner, I’m realizing a lot of things that I didn’t think of before. I always thought bigger was better, more was more better and doing everything is what my clients wanted from me. I didn’t realize until lately, that I was 100% wrong.
When I began developing the idea of Shout It Out Design with my father and CEO of Young’s Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs,OH – I had an extensive list of things that I wanted to offer to my clients. Web design was always the number one offering, but I also have experience with email marketing, social media marketing, print design, photography & videography and more. I also wanted to offer personalized photo gifts to my clients as something that would appeal to the masses. What I’ve realized over my time as a business owner, is that my customers generally don’t know I offer these other features, so I’m wasting my time promoting them.
So I’ve simplifying what I do and what my company offers. Instead of web design, email and social media marketing, etc – I do three things, and I do all of them well. Design, Marketing & Strategy. I do these things equally well, and I do them for all of my clients. There are many studies on the rule of 3’s. People can wrap their head around the concept of three services. Two isn’t enough and four is too many. Any small business or organization I work with can now see that I can help them put together a strategy to market their great website to their customers.
There is a famous story about Steve Jobs when he came back to Apple. The company was in a disarray, losing market share and struggling. They had many different product lines and the company felt that they could compete in all of those sectors. Jobs felt just the opposite. To succeed in selling all things, Apple had to focus their attention on one thing, the iPod. Once they were able to focus their marketing and brainpower on making one product succeed, well – you know the rest.
Jobs’ point was that it’s hard for the consumer to make a decision if there are too many options. And, on the business side, it’s easier to be great at three things than just being average at seven.
Take the time to look at what your business looks like from an outsider. Does your business do too much? Do you do too much? It’s easy to get wrapped up in being a ‘one-stop shop’ for your clients – but if you can’t deliver the best quality on all of your products – why offer it? Focus on what you do best, and partner up with other great local business owners to work with on the rest.