5 Ways to Focus Your Design Business

You probably find it difficult to focus on just a few markets. You don’t want to limit yourself or your work possibilities. But according to Linda Fisher, president of Thompson, CT-based Design Management Resources Inc., “Specialization is the future, so focus your marketing efforts narrowly and deeply. Work your best short list of industries and expand only on a planned initiative (for example, if you’ve recruited an experienced energy marketer) or a windfall (for example, if Big Oil Inc. moves its corporate-communications office next door).”

Here are some of Fisher’s tips for focusing your efforts:

1. Focus on what sells and makes money. These are often different, but a strategic plan can bring them together. You should know when you’re making money and when you’re not. Make decisions about which projects to take on with that knowledge in mind.

2. Stop changing everything. It’s human to try every fad, but it’s very expensive for a business. Many companies are powered by the anxious energy of leaders who think random change is the key to success and profitability. This causes confusion more than anything else in an organization.

3. Focus on business you can win. Over time you should hone your skills, improve efficiencies and focus. Learn what it takes to be profitable and do what you love. Choose where and how you can and want to win, and go for it with confidence.

4. Cooperation is the key to the successful implementation of a marketing plan. It’s human to be competitive, but a successful marketing plan requires cooperation and collaboration. It’s the only way to grow and remain profitable over the long run.

5. Remember that time doesn’t stand still. Timing is everything. The reality is that our life goals and business goals change along with everything else. It takes time, talent, practice and effort to establish and maintain focus. With the confidence you develop while creating your marketing plan, you must then commit the resources to support it.