Whether it’s personally, geographically, or demographically, I’ve learned time after time that narrowing the focus eventually leads to major gains in business growth. One way to look at growth is to think in concentric circles. We see this pattern in growth everywhere in nature...

Start where you are. Then watch your life and business expand like concentric circles -- just like we see in a ripple of water. Or tree rings. Or plants. And yep, all the great bands we love started in a garage somewhere.

Success leaves clues. If growth in nature starts small -- in a central location -- and works its way out, then maybe that’s a great clue for business growth.

In fact, it is. When we splay out prematurely, we become mediocre at a lot of things. The needs at the core suffer. But when we narrow the focus, we discipline ourselves to dominate in one area before we move on to the next challenge.

This is a very systematic, linear, and sequential approach to business growth.

I know it’s frustrating at first. But as you master business in the smaller things, the payoff eventually comes.

One example in the geographical arena of narrowing the focus comes from a business owner of a local cleaning company. She found that her geographical circle was too big. Her splay stopped making sense, so she made some intentional changes to tighten her business reach. Now instead of taking just any job in the county, she narrowed it down to 3 zip codes. This way she can actually do more jobs because her teams aren’t always spending precious time driving. She started by printing out a map of her county’s zip codes and tightened her reach to 3. At first, it seemed like she was turning down valuable work out there but eventually her time was maximized.     

Now she can replicate that model when she’s ready to grow beyond those 3 zip codes by creating new hubs, and eventually a replicable franchise model.

What’s true for local businesses as it relates to geography is also true of other business types as it relates to demography.

Eventually you can appeal to a larger audience with a more diverse product line, but start with one thing and make it amazing!  

You will also find that this helps you eliminate some things from your task lists. Narrowing the focus is more than an idea -- it’s a discipline that should seep all the way down into your daily habits. Lose the fluff.

So start where you are. Narrow the focus.

We hear the word “hyperlocal” used a lot in this sense. But local doesn't get any more hyper than inside your way of thinking. Sometimes the idea to narrow the focus has to start in your mind -- a thought shift.

Success leaves clues. Narrow the focus and eventually expansion will be the payoff.