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A Focused Business Isn’t Scary, I Promise

Lawrence Bak

By Lawrence Bak

Founder and CEO


Design Culture

September 20, 2017

I was lunching with a friend this spring, a fellow business owner of a small chiropractic office. As many business owners do, he was setting his sights on what would appear to be growth by offering a wide variety of additional services above and beyond his specialty of chiropractic care. And then wondered why he wasn’t flooded with new patients to treat.

At certain points in our history, Elevate has moved through similar experiences. In the desire to work with more amazing brands, we attempted to do it all, including print design, and social marketing, and SEO, and, and, and. Though we remained busy, it became more difficult to truly claim expertise in any specific area. I mean, could we really be good at everything?

After a long discussion with an outside consultant, and even months of introspection after that, we’ve been able to truly define what our focus is in the industry — what we’ve always been so incredibly good at — designing the world of digital commerce. Even more specifically (and more focused), we help brands increase revenue from their ecommerce properties by reducing the barriers a consumer might face while trying to purchase a product. It required us to focus our service offering. Focus our process. Focus not only how we engage a new client, but how we help existing clients relentlessly pursue digital commerce perfection. It took confidence and the discipline to turn away business that falls outside of our focus.

Back to our chiropractic friend. He began to add other therapies and other services. His marketing efforts became incrementally more difficult (and expensive) because he had to message different services to different audiences. And still, he didn’t see prospective patients flying in the door. He was actually doing more harm by diluting the original offering he was so good at — his true competitive advantage was hidden behind trying to do too much. He looked at me as if I had three heads when I suggested he pare back — focus on being on the leading edge of chiropractic care and leave all the other services to other experts. He eventually did, and though the new patients weren’t lining up outside the door at first, shortly thereafter they did — by the dozens. Tens of dozens. Enough that he had to expand his office space and extend hours to accommodate them all.

He had his aha moment. One of those “Why didn’t I do this years ago?” slap your forehead moments. But like us at Elevate, sometimes you need that little push, or big shove as it were, to put the stake in the ground and commit. It may sound counterintuitive to offer such a focused service offering, but in reality, most clients hire you because you’re good at what you do — your focused expertise. The very same reason one goes to a doctor for their specialty. Give it some thought, it’s really not as scary as you think.

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