Wednesday, December 20, 2006

How To Narrow Your Focus…and Take Over Any Market in 2007

Here is how to start.

Pick one day each week to work ON your business
If you're going to grow your business, and apply some new marketing strategies, you're going to need Time to do it.
Dedicated time, where you're doing nothing but working ON your business.
The first time I heard about the concept of working ON your business versus IN it, was in Michael Gerber’s book – The E-Myth.
The idea is that we get so caught up working in our business…doing all the things that keep us busy, and we just continue to do those things again and again, without getting any further ahead, or building any equity.

My recommendation is to set aside one day a week where you block off at least a few hours to work on improving, systemizing and implementing new strategies that can work without you.
Mondays are a great idea...and this may seem like a simple idea, but if you set aside this time, you'll be amazed at how much you'll be able to accomplish...and the improvements you'll be able to make.
What you’re going to find when you set this time aside is that you’re going to feel like you have a pause button for your life.
You’ve got your time blocked off. You’ve got an optimal environment, and you’re all set to work ON your business for the next 3 to 4 hours uninterrupted.
You’re going to sit down and really examine your business and your goals to see where the big opportunity is.
Know what you’re probably going to find when you sit down to think about it?

Your business is too complicated.

I know this because I hear it, and see evidence of it when I talk to Realtors and Lenders from all over the country.
Almost without exception, you're trying to do too much.
Spreading yourself too thin.
When you try to do too much, cover too wide an area, serve too many markets, and be all things to all people, it's hard to juggle all that complexity.
It's all that variety that causes you to feel like you're spinning too many plates in the air at the same time.
I know why you do it.
You want to grow your business (which is the socially acceptable way for us to say we want to make more money), and it seems to make perfect sense that if you have a little piece of a lot of markets you should be ok.
I mean if you just work with one first time buyer, one move up buyer, one relocating buyer, one luxury home buyer, and one investor a month - in each of the three towns in your county. Things would be great.
Trying to keep up with all that variation is complex. You have to juggle all the knowledge of those markets in your head, the entire inventory, and all the needs of those individual clients.
What I'm going to suggest for you today, is to do something radically different than you're doing right now.

What if, just for the next few months, you tried something different?

What if, instead of working ALL markets in all areas, you focused on only working with one single target market?

I know this sounds difficult, and the longer you've been a complexity driven business the harder it is to think of changing, but if you're doing less than 2 or 3 transactions a month, this change will be easier and it will be the easiest way to double or triple your business.
If you’re not doing 2 or 3 transactions a month regularly and consistently, getting THERE has got to be your primary focus…and narrowing your target market is the most predictable way to do it.

"But I'd starve if I only worked with townhouse buyers!"


Some of the most successful companies in the country right now, are serving very specific markets and doing very well.

Have you ever heard of a company called Sunglass Hut?
They only sell sunglasses between $50 and $200. Not the $10 sunglasses you find at the drug store, but the name brand sunglasses like Oakley, Ray Ban and Maui Jim.
They don't sell anything else, they have little stand alone stores and kiosks in high traffic malls, and when dot coms and traditional retailers are dropping like crazy, their earnings were up 39%.
They have a sister company called "Watch Station" that uses the same operating model, and sells only watches between $50 and $250.
They have similar stores and kiosks in malls.
Now, here's the interesting thing. Why don't they mix the stores?
I mean they're both going after that $50 to $150 price range.
Well, they have some stores (as a test) that do just that, but on average they do something like 50% LESS business than the stand alone stores!
It’s about FOCUS!
In the stand alone stores, there is no confusion (am I looking for a watch or sunglasses?)
The staff only have to know everything about a single product line, and the customers feel like this MUST be the place for me to get my sunglasses - it's all they sell.


That focus means only one thing -- increased sales.
Sunglass Hut isn't the only business like this.
Have you ever heard of Jennifer Leathers?
All they sell is Leather sofas.
Their sister company, Jennifer Convertibles, sells only sofa beds.
Never together. Two separate stores. Very profitable.

Now, how does this apply to you?

I like to use examples from other businesses for you because we all tend to get very closely attached to our business, and all of our influences come from what other people are doing in OUR business. So we should do it too, and pretty soon everyone is doing the same thing.
When you take a look at what's going on in other industries, you can learn fresh lessons to apply to your business. (Or you can take the shortcut and just read my articles where I do it for you!)

What if just for the first 3 months of the 2007, you decided you were only going to work with people who wanted to buy homes between $250,000 and $350,000 in ONE of the towns in your county?
Or, maybe you'll specialize in the 2000 townhomes in your marketplace.
Just think for a minute what your business would be like if all you did was one simple thing?
You might immediately be thinking that focusing on such a small target market isn’t a very big opportunity.

But let’s take a closer look.

Let’s say there are 2000 town homes in your area…and they have a 10% turnover rate overall.
That means that there will be 200 town homes that come on the market in the next 12 months.
If you make an average commission of say $5000 for each side of a townhouse sale, which means there would be a Million dollars for the listing side.
Someone is going to buy those 200 townhouses…so there will be another million dollars in commissions paid to the buyer side agents.
Let’s say HALF those townhouse sellers buy a bigger house in the same area…and let’s just say that those transactions will only pay another $5000 each…that’s another half a million.
So, we’re up to $2.5 Million in available commissions JUST from focusing exclusively on 2000 town homes.

Can you imagine what your business would look like if all you were focused on was townhomes?

It would be a whole lot simpler than it is now.

Sometimes there is as much freedom in knowing what you DON’T do, as there is in knowing what you DO do.

Suddenly, you don't have to run around all over your county on Caravan to get a general sense of the entire market. You can focus all of your attention on the townhouse market, and know intimately everything about every townhouse on the market.
It's easier to find buyers when you narrow your focus on a very specific market.
It's much more likely that if you have a proven system for getting Listings for townhomes that you will find more townhouse buyers.
This may sound radical, but I truly believe Simplicity is the real key to growing your business exponentially.

It’s about Focus not Variety.

The real purpose of this is to get you to think a new thought, even if just for a few minutes. Look at your business and see if simplifying fits for you.
What kind of target markets are available for YOU to focus on?
If you're searching to find a way to make your business more profitable and consistent in 2007, this may be the answer for you.

Just think about it this and let me know what happens…

Thanks for spending 3 minutes with me.....
The best is yet to be!


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