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24 2012

The Power of Focus

Syndicated from: Your Planning Partners

One of the common attributes of successful people, whether they are athletes, entertainers, or business leaders, is their ability to focus. They are able to concentrate all of their attention and energy on the right things in the right way at the right time. They are focus gurus! To achieve the growth you want for your business you too must learn to focus. So in this blog we share three tools our clients have found invaluable in helping them achieve focus.   1.  The Parking Lot Business owners love to create new things. The mundane does not excite us! And so we find it far too easy to be distracted by Shiny Objects; we call it SOS ~  Shiny Object Syndrome™. They glitter and shine and beckon to us. We mean of course new ideas, new products, new systems, new client base, new anything that shines. But don’t stop stop thinking of new things; control it! Control it by creating a place called the Parking Lot. This is where you will park the Shiny Objects so you don’t forget them, you don’t get immediately distracted by them and you can return to consider them at a later date. The Parking Lot can be a document, a notebook, a space on Evernotes, on your iPad. Whatever works for you.   2.  Focus on the Numbers Every business has what we call Critical Numbers. These are the numbers that tell us if the business is heading for success, heading for failure or just stagnating. Yes, we all say that our critical number is revenue! But is it? What if unknown to you your product or service is being sold at a loss? That would mean the higher the revenue grows the bigger the loss you incur until that fateful day when you run out of money. So really think about your Critical Numbers. Some examples: Number of new prospects met Number of widgets sold Cost per product or service Revenue and expenses and therefore profit Number of customers Number of hours to deliver a service   3.  The 80/20 Rule The 80/20 Rule is one of the most powerful focus tools at your disposal. It simply states ~ 80% of results are caused by 20% of effort. In a more tangible way: 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your clients. Or as Microsoft discovered: 80% of the complaints were caused by 20% of the system bugs. Fix those 20% and you remove 80% of the complaints. Here are some ways to apply the 80/20 Rule: Focus your attention on the 20% of your products/services that 80% of your clients are buying. You should be spending the majority of your time on growing the business. Where are you spending 80% of your time? Is most of it about growing the business? Or is most of it about managing the day to day operations? Start filling 80% of your time with business growth activities. 20% of your products are probably contributing to 80% of your profits. Increase the 20% to 30% or more and you will have more profit to fund the growth of the business.   Your Focus Plan Set up your Parking Lot to park your Shiny Objects and all other great ideas. Identify three Critical Numbers you should be monitoring.   Visit our website at

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