How Successful Companies Find Their Focus

Mark Ballett is an ecommerce expert with more than 25 years’ experience helping retailers to grow and evolve. He was Supply Director of Cable & Wireless, and CEO of several telecoms companies at the beginning of the internet era, played a leading role in an £80M broadband start up, as well as leading Norweb Telecom's growth from £10M to £100m turnover.

Most business owners have ambitions, aims and outline plans for what they want to achieve with their businesses. Some even have detailed plans. Very few have powerful strategies: plans that give them the best chance of being successful in the highly competitive markets that exist these days. We have found that the more strategically they think, the more they will understand what they need to do to win, and the more successful they will be.

The most successful businesses do the following: they have a suitably different proposition; which sufficient people want to buy, at a price which allows them to not only make a profit but also a good return on capital; and it is hard for others to offer substitutes or alternatives. Critically, they not only know who these people are, but they are able to communicate with them at an affordable cost.

There is a lot to all this, but at the heart of the best business strategies is the concept of FOCUS; not trying to serve everyone, but only those customers who most value what you do. So, in the eyes of any business, not all people are equal and you need to identify very clearly the most valuable audience for your business.

If you are starting out in business this is an impossible question to answer, but if you have been trading for a while you have a wealth of customer data to hand that can help you understand different customers’ buying behaviour. This is very valuable because customers differ in many ways: frequency of purchase; purpose; advocacy; scale and scope, to name just a few.

“The most successful businesses have a suitably different proposition; which sufficient people want to buy, at a price which allows them to not only make a profit but also a good return on capital”

Splitting your customer base into groups of like-minded people, or segments, allows you to better understand how to focus your business. Most businesses make different amounts of money from different products, services and customers but it is often not very clear which are the most profitable and why.

Your customer data is one of the most valuable assets in your business and it has the potential to allow you to build a stronger strategy for your business by unlocking it. By knowing how to FOCUS, on WHICH customers with WHAT products and services, because you can fulfil some of my essential criteria for a good business outlined above, can make you rich.

This may seem a pretty simple idea but, from our experience, things always seem simple until you try and do them and then you realise that there is much you do not know or understand about doing things you have not done before. The solution is to collaborate with others who have done it before.

Phil and Mark, from EcomEvolve, have done this a lot and can help you too, to find the gems buried in your Customer Data.  The information that will allow you to build a stronger, more focused, strategy on the back of thorough and comprehensive customer data analysis. If we can help in any way, feel free to contact us on +44 (0) 1932 450 654, or using the form below.