I helped host a fantastic event for business leaders here in Sheffield, UK at the Milestone 'gastro pub' yesterday. I interviewed on stage the owners of the Milestone business who have recently achieved huge publicity and success by starring in, and winning on the national television series Gordon Ramsay's Best British Restaurant TV series on Channel 4. They really have put themeselves, and Sheffield 'on the map' and they're a real credit to the city.
As well as telling us all about their adventure with Gordon and all the hard work that that involved, they shared their story of how they built their successful business which resulted in them being nominated and shortlisted for the programme.
One of the key lessons that they shared and I thought worth passing on, was their realisation a couple of years into the growth of the business that they were trying to be 'all things to all people'. They were unfocussed, offering far too many products and had a reall scattered focus. The result? Being incredibly busy, stretched to the limits, providing 'unprofitable' products (and business) and exhausted!
A decision to concentrate on things that....
- they loved doing
- they were great at
- made money!
was a 'milestone' moment. They've gone on to great success and of course TV stardom!!!!
I often talk about 'Choose 'em or Lose 'em' which applies to your customers and your products and services. It means having a clear focus on who you want to work with and what you want to offer.... and crucially, who and what you don't!
Even Nike get it wrong apparently! According to Fast Company, when Nike's CEO asked Apple's Steve Jobs "Do you have any advice?"
"Well, just one thing," said Jobs. "Nike makes some of the best products in the world. Products that you lust after. Absolutely beautiful, stunning products. But you also make a lot of crap. Just get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff."
What's your 'good stuff' and your 'crappy stuff'?
Don't know? Find out and do something about it!