There’s a fundamental rule in marketing that takes some discipline and some getting used to, but it’s undeniably true: You can’t be everything for everybody.
It’s impossible to build a business and market a brand in a way that serves everyone. First of all, you can’t possibly please everyone all the time and, secondly, you can’t possibly offer everything that everyone would want all the time either. It’s simply impossible.
But, when running a business, we can’t help but want to maximize our opportunities, so we avoid saying no to anything. We want to please everyone and we want to give people everything that they want, so we say yes all the time.
We want to give everything to everybody.
As a result, we try to go for the broadest range of product features and services in an attempt to get as close as we can to offering everything for everybody. We feel better doing that because it feels like we are reducing risk and keeping our options open.
It’s actually quite the opposite.
When we try to be everything for everybody, we run the risk of being nothing for nobody. We end up watering down our business proposition and our brand promise in an attempt to be as broad as possible. We become so vague that no one knows what we are offering and our potential customers turn to other, more specific options.
We end up accomplishing far less than we had hoped, which is exhausting.
As entrepreneurs, we end up running ragged trying to get it all done with limited resources. It makes us feel busy and productive, but again it’s actually quite the opposite. We are doing busy work that isn’t generating the kind of results we were ultimately aiming for.
So, what’s a small business owner or entrepreneur to do?
Get specific about your business assets. Really hone in on the skills that you are best suited to offer your customers. Don’t try to do everything; do what you are best at. Concentrate on offerings where you truly are…