Being all things to all people might make you feel good, but can lead to major distractions and inefficiencies. More companies are focusing on areas that they can be the best at. They know what their ideal customer looks like and the type of work they excel at. This allows them to streamline their processes and procedures. It allows them to create more ‘flow’ in their workflow, and increases the velocity of the work throughout their organization. It also simplifies the account management roles for these accounts. They work hard to build scalable, repeatable processes throughout the organization.
Yes, all jobs are custom in the eyes of the customer, but not in the steps they take to produce the work. These companies don’t make it up as they go. Trying to be everything under the sun, and make money at it, isn’t practical for most businesses. These firms choose their lanes wisely.
This doesn’t mean that they only produce books, or postcards or deal with only one type of customer. What it does mean is that the products and services they provide, and who they provide them to, should have many things in common. This focus ensures that the solutions and workflows they create will cover their expectations today, and can grow accordingly.
A business owner and friend who has built a true manufacturing platform in his company says, “It’s hard to be world class when you’re trying to be all things to all people.” Focusing on a certain type of work can open the door to creating repeatable processes and driving out unnecessary costs. Clients don’t want to pay for, or wait for, non-value added steps. Face it, many shops produce the work in the same manner that they’ve been doing it for years. Yet, the marketplace, the available technology, and customer expectations no longer resemble the past.
A lack of focus can stretch and distract the leadership team. We sometimes forget that the people on the leadership team have day jobs that they need to get done. Concentrating the markets you serve won’t make the leadership team’s role easy, but should make it easier.
Be selective and purposeful with the accounts and work that you go after. Choosing your lane carefully will help minimize the distractions and allow you to build scalable and repeatable processes within your company. I hope that these thoughts will help lead you to being the best at what you do. Good luck and have fun.
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.