A Little Focus Can Go A Long Way

We all do this right? We get a little place in the world to tell people what we do, and then we try to sell everything that we can do–not necessarily what we do best. Here we see that Fox’s serves Pizza, Bread, Salads, Wings, Stromboli, Hoagies/Wedgies, and lest you miss it, Frozen Yogurt.

If you make the best Stromboli in the city, then it doesn’t matter whether you can make yogurt at all. Every new item or service that we offer has a cost associated with it: actual, opportunity or education. Yogurt, for example, has costs associated with the machine, inventory, operating education and opportunity of NOT selling Strombolis, yet businesses routinely tell their clients everything that they can do.

Here are the reasons to tout all of your possible “products:”

  • Increase top line revenue
  • Crowd out competition
  • Respond to customer demand
  • Appeal to “some” customer interest
  • Never learned to say no
  • Fear that you’re not the best in the world

Now, I’m not really picking on this poor pizza joint. This frequently occurs in businesses. In my own marketing business, we are asked on a regular basis to do things outside our sphere of core competency, and how do you think we answer? You guessed it, with a resounding “yes.” It’s really hard to say NO to money.

But, here’s the thing, when you do NOT start with why, you end up with a bunch of WHATS. Without a solid constitution of your purpose to be on this earth (or in your business), you are increasingly susceptible to following the dollar wherever that may lead–selling yogurt instead of Strombolis.


Jeremy Floyd

Jeremy Floyd is the President at FUNYL Commerce. Formerly, he was the CEO and President of Lirio, Bluegill Creative, a marketing and communications firm in Knoxville, Tennessee. In addition to managing the digital strategies, Floyd was an adjunct professor for the University of Tennessee Chattanooga MBA program teaching digital strategies and social media. Floyd blogs at jeremyfloyd.com and tweets under the name @jfloyd. Jeremy is licensed to practice law in the State of Tennessee and holds a law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from MTSU in English and Philosophy.

  • Tim Ferraris

    If I could rank your reasons to tout all of your possible products, the #1 one would be the one you mentioned: It’s hard to say no to money.

    On the other hand, I’ve found that when I work on matters that are within my range of skills but are outside of my very best skills, they require an inordinate amount of energy and resources compared to the benefit they provide.

    I think there’s a lesson there.

  • It’s called “scope of support.” I must do it daily on my own services as well, and sometimes denying a customer in the most polite of manners can be necessary.

  • I agree 100% Tim. That’s where we’ve lost the most money. When we take on things “outside our wheelhouse” we lose the house.

  • Nice point Josh. It’s tough to be on the receiving end of a no, but it’s absolutely necessary.

  • Pingback: Keeping Keyword Focus in an Attention Distracted...Look, Shiny - Jeremy Floyd | Jeremy Floyd()

  • Pingback: What Does the Resistance Tell You? It's Not Always "No" | Jeremy Floyd()