Finding Your Small Business Edge

I had a friend ask a simple question today on Facebook that peaked my interest and caused me to reflect a bit on my experience in online marketing, particularly in eCommerce.

Which is better…to know a lot about a little, or a little about a lot? Just curious about your thoughts…

My reaction:

Knowing a lot about a little is the key to success in online marketing in my opinion. “Niche marketing” is so much more powerful than trying to reinvent Walmart (ie. know a little about a lot).

Starting an online business, or any business for that matter, is NOT a walk in the park.

I’ve become so fed up with the “make money overnight” “get rich quick” “little or no money down” “buy our program and make millions” BULL#*%& that I almost swore out loud while writing this article (and that would be breaking the honor code).

The bottom line to success in ANYTHING is this:

Focus is critical! If we try to do everything at once, we can only expect mediocrity in pretty much everything.

I learned this the hard way when I started by first online business six years ago. My mentor helped me with keyword research, on-site and off-site SEO, etc. I found products to sell. In fact, I started with about 300 products on my site and thought the money would just start rolling in.

What Did I Learn Due to Lack of Focus?

That same eCommerce website today has about 10 total products (with variations of the same product). Why so few products you might be asking? Did I “down size”? No, I learned how important it was to keep things narrow and targeted – to find my “business edge“. That same “niche” site is a leader in a very targeted dance shoes industry.

I also learned that focusing on the smallest possible problem I can solve is critical. Obviously, the solution has to be useful to my target audience. Which means I have to define WHO my target audience is and WHY they need what I’m offering.

Finally, I learned that one of the biggest problems many new companies make is trying to do too many things at once. Not only does this make life really difficult and stressful, but it can impede overall business progress in the short and long-term. Eventually the company will figure out that they CAN’T do everything on their own or at one time, and they’ll have to take a step back, re-focus, and will have wasted time and money in the “learning curve” process.

Why is Focus So Important?

What's Your Business Edge?

Focusing on a small niche has so many advantages:

  • With much less work you can be the best at what you do.
  • Small things almost always turn out to be much bigger when you zoom in.

The concept of focus is really logical too; however, most of us seem to have a resistance to focus, we shy away from sharpening our “business edge”. We want everything right now!

My best recommendation is this:

It’s much easier to broaden your focus when you’ve dominated a small niche than it is to start by shooting at everything and not hitting anything.

What are your thoughts on finding a niche (ie. Finding your small business edge)?

Nate Moller has been teaching clients how to start an online business for over five years. He’s worked with thousands of companies who are looking for answers in their online marketing journey. Follow Nate on Twitter and become a fan of Moller Marketing on Facebook!

2 thoughts on “Finding Your Small Business Edge

  1. Clark Hetherington says:

    I so love your posts! It is indeed true that when someone is doing business online, they often think of earning fast at the shortest possible time. I am somehow included to that someone at first but I do realize that earning big will not happen in a day. I have to work hard for it. Thanks for the posts Nate! I can relate to it. Cheers!

    • Nate Moller says:

      Thanks for the comment Clark! I’m sure we’ve all be there from time to time, hoping to hit the gold mine overnight. Let us know if we can help you fine tune your focus or if there are other topics I can share about that will help.

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