How making choices can be a key strategy for business growth
Next weekend is Lollapalooza here in Chicago – 140+ bands on eight stages over three 10 hour days. For those of you who know me well (or have been reading my newsletters), you know I am a huge music fan. Which is why I put up with the heat, the crowds and the port-a-potties to spend three days enjoying some of my favorites bands and discovering artists that become my new favorites. But here is the problem: Sometimes there are too many choices. In a given time slot, there may be two or more great bands playing at the same time.
One year, I decided to not choose – I can do both, I thought! I’ll listen to some of the first band, then dash across to the other side of Grant Park and catch some of the second band. Needless to say, it didn’t work. I spent so much time making sure I left on time that I didn’t fully enjoy the first band. Then, it took me longer to the second stage, so I heard very little of that band, so I don’t really enjoy that either. I should have just committed to one. They were both good choices.
When it comes to decision making, many companies face the same issue. Especially when it comes to choosing who it is you want to target.
Take for example, a hypothetical law firm. They could get a lot of business with manufacturing companies, or advertising agencies or tech start-ups or any number of other types of businesses. “We shouldn’t limit ourselves,” they say. And so they make a website that speaks to everyone and make cold calls and send direct mail pieces to everyone. And, as you can imagine, it doesn’t work. Their attention and dollars are spread too thin to really connect with anyone. Business doesn’t grow and and the leadership team agrees that sales and marketing don’t work.
So how do you choose? How to you ensure that you boil it down to the good choices and then commit to only those that will deliver the best results. Here is a way to get a few people together and work through the process.
- State your goal. What does success look like? Five more clients? 10 new business presentations? 100 inquiries?
- Determine your criteria. What is important for you to know in making this choice? Market size? Profitability or margins? Ease (in time and money) to make it happen? Determine how you want to evaluate before you start.
- List the options and evaluate. Put the options through the criteria outlined. Evaluating can be as simple (red/yellow/green) or as complex (numerical scores with weighting of the criteria) as you would like. It doesn’t matter. Just have some pre-set standards.
- Make a decision. Once you have been through the evaluation, some ideas should rise to the top over others. Choose and move forward.
Good luck and have fun. And, if you are at Lollapalooza next weekend, you can catch me at the Budweiser Stage. Or the Playstation Stage. Or…..
For more information on conducting a targeting workshop or other strategic decision making tools, contact us email@example.com.