The Problem in Chasing Two Rabbits
The Chinese philosopher Confucius said, “He who chases two rabbits, catches neither.” Meaning, it’s crucial that you focus your attention on one primary target.
So when you stop and think about your shop’s sales and marketing are you chasing one rabbit, or a field of customers hopping around? Imagine how simpler your business strategy might be if you winnow down your customer base to just one type.
One rabbit to chase.
That rabbit could look or move anyway it wanted, but it’s going to be far easier to hunt as the distractions of all the other rabbits scurrying nearby will fade away. It will become your core focus.
● Your rabbit could be geography based. Within 20 miles of your shop, or one day ground shipping.
● It could be a particular demographic, such as tourists at the beach or sports fans of a particular school or league.
● Maybe your rabbit is a business type such as contracting to promotional item distributors or selling to retail boutique stores.
● What if it was revenue based, with a minimum order for the customer is 1,000 shirts or more?
● Think about what if your direction was simply about speed. All of your orders ship within two business days. How would you define that rabbit in your shop?
● Maybe you simplify your output and everything you printed was just a one color? What if you only embroidered items with a 4,000 stitch logo or less? How would that impact your production schedule and costs?
● Maybe instead of decorating apparel, you switch to another product like pillow cases or socks.
The idea here is that you can scale your business by narrowing your focus only on one type of rabbit exclusively. This is going to help you search for your customers and define how to market to them.
Simplifying your path also will help you dedicate resources, labor, what trade shows to attend, even what type of apparel to source for decoration. It will help you decide on what equipment to buy and the employee skills needed to run them.
As you master your core processes to serve this one market exclusively, you will fine tune all of your operations in-house.
Imagine how much simpler it will be to write or update your business plan, as you are only craving one type of customer. Building a marketing schedule just go easier too, as you know who to consider when crafting your social media posts. Finding and following customers online is just a simple click away. You’ll know who to follow with just a few keyword searches.
Will limiting the customer pool be for everyone? Probably not.
Many will say, “It’s hard to turn down business!” or “You can’t limit customers coming through the door!”.
But think how businesses in different industries have succeeded when they adopted this mindset. Zappos sells shoes and puts customers needs first. Uber is revolutionizing getting people to their destinations with a phone app. Tom’s Shoes has impacted the world with their brand of for-profit cause marketing. Patagonia sells clothing for the adventure minded.
Constantly hunting your one rabbit won’t mean you are running a good business either. There’s no business award for stress, and you have to be paying attention continually. Disruption is at your doorstep.
Look what happened to Kodak and the photo business. What would have happened if they pivoted and pushed for digital and phone camera apps? They would be still chasing the same rabbit, but doing it differently. Focus on your customer, but still leave room to adapt and change.
In your shop, what do you do best? What if you narrowed your focus on marketing the best attribute as your market differentiator?
Simulated process on dri-fit performance wear. One day turns. Multimedia apparel decoration. Discharge or water based photographic prints. The most knowledgeable customer service in the industry. 100% sustainable production that is certified by a third party like SGP. Contract DTG printing for other decorators.
The sky’s the limit really.
What if you channeled the energy you are spending now completing orders that aren’t profitable, for clients that don’t pay well, or for customers that are jerks…and pushed that effort into creating a new version of your company that is singularly outstanding?
By limiting and adopting the “Less is More” outlook, maybe you will discover a more profitable and joyous rabbit to hunt.
By the way, rabbit season opened yesterday. Good luck!