Stick to your strengths

You’ve heard the old saying, ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’. When it comes to a business’s growth strategy, keeping this in mind will help you make the right decisions.

When starting a business, the lure to ‘do-it-all’ is very appealing.

Building a client base by offering a wide range of services to reach as many people as possible seems like a logical and financially rewarding objective.

But what would a business expert advise? Stick to your strengths.


Develop your core strength


Ask yourself why you left your last position and what change you’ll make in the industry. Your core strength will be in that answer.

Starting up a business is based on many reasons, but at their heart are a few points blazing in neon lights. These are your core strengths or values.

After pinpointing your core strength, align your service offering with it. Remember, being everything to everyone and providing outstanding quality service don’t go hand in hand.

Digital brand agency Sonnet’s founder, Pablo Ostolaza, shows how he clearly defines that core strength.

“We created Sonnet so we could work in a different kind of agency: more transparent, more focused and truly independent. We wanted to work with people that were confident and not afraid of risk,” he told The Pulse.

“This means we often have to say no to projects, give potential clients feedback they don’t want to hear. We have a vision of the type of studio we want to be, but the roadmap to get there is really a collection of everyday choices.

“What we decide not to do defines us as much as what we take on.”

‘Do-it-all’ style businesses grow in slow, uncertain stages.

Following every lead that comes your way is like following a wandering path that has no clear way of securing your business’s long-term success. It’s a business model that isn’t sustainable or practical.

Keep a business in check with a set of core strengths. Then you have business growth in mind with every business decision.


Outsourcing can be a business’s key to success


When you’re starting a new business, you tend to wear many hats.

Unless you have a solid nest egg that can fund an entire team to start from scratch, you’ll be the receptionist, salesperson, accountant and business manager on any given day.

If you’re switching between roles and can’t focus on your core strength, then you face problems as you start to focus on running the business instead of growing it.

“I was hesitant to spend money on a bookkeeper,” designer Matt Woods said. “I would spend all day working on my clients’ projects and then after hours, I’d have to try and sort out the books.

“As my experience and strength lay in design, I found this part of the day incredibly time consuming and draining. When I finally decided to get help, I found my profits increased, simply because I had more time and energy to focus on the parts of the business I was good at.”

Outsourcing the distracting work protects your core service offering and you achieve a strong business model that speeds up financial growth.


Give away the good


Successful Sydney author and lawyer Peter Murphy shared this business mantra:

“Give away the ‘good’ to achieve the ‘great’,” he said. “We shy away from outsourcing tasks or increasing our service fees in case we’ll lose out financially. But this fear is the stumbling block.”

“When starting out, I took on a lot of random work in order to build my client base quickly,” Emma Norris of Content in the City said.

“After a few months I realised I was simply treading water and had not achieved any of the goals I’d set for my business. I re-evaluated what was at the core of what I wanted to do and changed my business offering to be more exclusive.

“I lost a few clients with the change, but I quickly replaced them with clients who were better aligned to helping my business grow.”

Quickly building a client base is a strong lure in a business’s early days. Be patient, consistent and confident about what you do best.

Business success can then fall into place.