Is having more than one focus in your business ok?

by Louise Crooks

You might be wondering if you’re trying to niche, what you’re doing. And if having more than one focus is ok. Or even more than one business. And often the truth is that if you have more than one focus in your business, what you end up doing is almost like running two businesses. Whether it’s more than one niche focus or more than one business – we’ll take a look at these separately because they are a bit different.

For example, if you’re a coach focusing on more than one key result with your clients ie: life purpose, planning a career and getting through divorce, then yes, you’re ultimately hurting yourself by giving yourself what essentially becomes too many areas of focus. It will feel like you’re running more than one business – you’ll need to set up 3 separate email lists, 3 separate newsletters, 3 different websites and go to different networking groups and so the list goes on. It will feel like a lot of work, and is a recipe for burnout. And if you’re trying to do it all from one website, or one newsletter – then you’re being too broad or generic in your messaging, and quite possibly confusing to your audience – and the end result will be watered down – in other words, pretty disappointing. Folks will unsubscribe or just not open your emails, or not follow through on calls-to-action in your messaging. The broader your messaging the less likely folks will see you as the go-to expert for their particular issue or challenge. If this is something you’re doing or dealing with, please know you’re not alone. This is a very common challenge and something a lot of my clients are facing when they first come to me. Part of the challenge is picking that one focus, right?

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Another example is, if you’re a nutritionist, and you’re wanting to support clients with cancer, and with IBS, then again it becomes a lot of work – almost like running two businesses – even though it’s under the umbrella of nutrition, and even if you were serving the specific target market of women in mid-life. It’s still too much. It doesn’t mean to say that you shouldn’t do both, BUT that you do one first – really nail it so that that business is doing well, and then expand into the other area later. By then you’ll have a team who can help you run a business that is multi-dimensional, and not be trying to do it all yourself and you’ll have built up credibility and a following as an expert in one area.

If you’re a naturopath, and you specialize in women dealing with infertility – and you have a few different focuses with helping these women who are dealing with polycystic ovaries, endometriosis and unexplained infertility. They all fall under the same umbrella of infertility, but they are close enough to feel like you can serve this market. Again it is important to remember that each group is still different with different challenges, but it is possible to serve them all at the same time, but I would still start with one, and then branch out from there. This is where it gets a little tough to decide the route that you want to take – but I say simplify, and keep it narrow, and the clients will come.

Who says we need to work like maniacs to have a full practice? I don’t think we do. If we keep things simple, our messaging, our marketing and all the things we do in alignment with our focus becomes much less work! We are seen as an expert who folks see as someone truly understanding their issue. If you say you do more than that, and try and be all things to all women dealing infertility – that message becomes diluted.

IMPORTANT: This is for visibility and marketing purposes. It doesn’t mean to say that if someone approaches you who is dealing with an issue that is similar but not the same as your niche, is not going to be a great client – you can say YES to that person if you choose to.

Here’s where we get to ask whether having more than one business is a good idea. If you’re starting 2 or 3 businesses at the same time, then I would say no. Because you’re fixing to have a heart attack or stomach ulcer with all the work that would take. Unless you’re one of those people that can work 24/7 and thrive on that stress that will bring and still create results. I would say that’s 0.5% of the population. Not so much for us in the soul-opreneur community!

Remember the 80/20 principle? Either 80% work equals 20% result or 20% work equals 80% result – well in this case it would definitely become the former. Your efforts would be so diluted in each business, it would be hard to make any one of them a successful one. IF HOWEVER you work on one at a time, give it your full focus and create one success first THEN you’re ready to open your next one, and have a team to help you take care of the details of the first one as you start your second. So if you have a few businesses that are all limping along, this could very well be the reason. Stick with one, put the others on the backburner, and go for it in a committed and BIG way.

This becomes about time, money and response. So you’re not spending a lot of time and money spinning your wheels. And at the same creating a responsive audience who are waiting for your next communiqué . When you have that clear focus or niche, your clients will be finding you!

Let me know what you think below if you have any thoughts and comments. I always love to hear what you have to say.