Why is it important to stay focused?
It happens all the time. When building a new online business, many entrepreneurs become scattered and distracted in both strategy and execution, trying to move in too many directions at the same time. This lack of focus ends up causing a lack of real movement for the business in any one particular direction and can ultimately lead to failure.
In this post we'll explain exactly why focus is so important for you and your online business. You'll also learn three critical elements of your business that you absolutely must have focus in as well as how to achieve it.
Let’s get right into it.
Why Is Focus Important?
The problem is that a lack of focus leads to scattered resources. Devoting time, energy and money to multiple strategies and marketing channels at the same time leads to none of them being executed well. It’s just not possible. On a daily level, a lack of focus leads to wasted time. All of this in turn leads to frustration, lack of progress for the business and ultimately failure.
The Case for a Singular Focus
Alex Ikonn, founder of Luxy Hair says that “A singular focus is the most important thing in business”. Right from the beginning, Alex and his partner Mimi executed an extreme amount of focus. When they launched their hair extension business in 2010 they made a deliberate decision to only carry a narrow product range. Instead of having many multiple lengths, weights and colors, they focused on a very tight range of products that would satisfy the majority of the market.
What’s more was their laser precision focus on marketing. Sure they read all the marketing advice out there that told them they need to advertise with Google Adwords and Facebook Ads amongst a host of other channels, but they identified one channel where they felt their efforts would make the most impact. Focusing solely on YouTube as their marketing channel, Alex and Mimi built Luxy Hair's YouTube channel to more than 2.2 million followers.
Alex definitely isn’t the only one. The founder of Bonobos, Andy Dunn also makes his case for having a singular focus in his blog post, Get One Thing Right, saying:
"A lot of brands don’t make it because in the process of trying to get many things right, they don’t get anything right. Why are they in such a hurry?"
It's clear that a focused strategy has its advantages. Let's take a look at how to achieve focus in your business.
3 Critical Elements of Focus For Ecommerce Businesses
To achieve extreme focus for your business there are three major areas to consider. The overall strategy for your business, campaigns and initiatives for achieving your overall strategy and finally the daily activities and tasks associated with executing those campaigns and initiatives.
All three of these areas are connected and each area requires focus. Let's take a look at some of the most important elements of each area to consider:
Overall Strategy (Changes Rarely)
The overall strategy is the big picture and the ultimate direction as well as purpose of the business. This is usually something that doesn't change unless you are making a major market shift and pivoting. Within the overall strategy, there are two major elements that need to be considered in particular:
Focus on your unique value proposition - Consumer have dozens if not hundreds of other online destinations they could choose instead of you. So, why should they buy from you? That’s the question you need to answer as you start formulating your unique selling proposition.
Focus on product/market fit - We recently discussed product/market fit on the Shopify blog, but your product/market fit might just be the most important element to focus on, especially early on. Focusing on this alone in the early stages of your business can mean the difference between success and failure.
Campaigns & Initiatives (Changes Every Few Weeks/Months)
Campaigns and initiatives support your overall strategy and goal. A lack of focus here can lead to a lot of wasted time and money in scattered marketing channels and campaigns.
Focus on one marketing channel - One of the biggest faults of being unfocused in your marketing is never giving each marketing channel a fair shot by not dedicating enough time, energy or money and giving up too early.
Whether it’s search engine optimization, search engine marketing, Facebook Ads or pitching bloggers, they all require a really solid effort, some time to show results and sometimes money.