As a follow up to my blog posting Focus to Drive Growth in which I outlined 10 areas where focus is required, here I want to discuss Step 1 in greater depth.
If you haven’t read Focus to Drive Growth, let me summarize a bit to set the stage for Step 1. I often find that firms dilute their business development efforts, which leads to lackluster growth and discontent among professionals and staff. Most often this situation can be attributed to a lack of laser focus on a company’s business objectives and the commitment to making the hard decisions that come with declaring a company’s targeted-market strategies.
The first step in a strategy to grow revenue is focusing on one objective. The objective could be for the company as a whole, an industry or practice group, geography – whatever segment of the business you are trying to develop. Note however, if you are focusing on something other than the company as a whole, your objective should support and complement the company’s objective.
Focus on one objective
While this may be hard to do or deceptively simple, articulate in measureable terms your ultimate goal in one or two sentences to provide a beacon by which every proposed strategy and tactic is measured. Following are three real-life examples:
- Move up the ranks (in size and reputation) of the country’s midmarket firms by becoming more sharply focused and better branded.
- Collect $200,000 in revenue within 12 months by attracting 10-15 new clients and landing 3-5 repeat engagements.
- Clear $25,000 in revenue within 12 months by doubling the number of programs delivered.
Note that all of these succinct objectives are measureable, such that you can ask and answer: Does a proposed expenditure of time or money have a high probability of moving the firm toward its stated objective? If so, it’s worth considering. This is how you prioritize your marketing budget.
What’s more, the sample objectives are easily understood, not lofty fluff. Their understandability lends them to being good overriding focus statements. The objectives are not all inclusive statements which are often designed to make everyone happy. The old adage is true — you can’t make everyone happy, so don’t even try. Rather, get there by making the business unit you are working on successful. Remember everyone owns success, while everyone disowns any participation in a failure. Focusing on one objective is powerful.
In the next posting we will talk more about focusing your offerings to drive growth.