5 ways of focusing

Philip Morgan

Narrowing your focus makes it easier to earn visibility, and there are 5 ways you can narrow your focus.

The world of business is divided up into verticals. Why not sectors or markets or industries or business families or moneyblobs or something else? Some of those words are used somewhat interchangeably, but for our purposes finance and manufacturing and health are 3 market verticals among 20 high-level verticals and 422 sub-verticals.

A pure vertical focus is when you focus on 1 vertical or 2 closely-related verticals (medicine and life science, for example, are 2 verticals that make sense when combined into a singular focus).

An audience is a group of people or businesses that share something important in common. This shared problem, need, or goal is important enough that it causes the audience to connect and gather at online communities or in-person events. The fact that an audience gathers in some way makes them function like a pseudo vertical, and so both pure market verticals and audiences function as verticals.

A pure horizontal specialization is when you specialize in solving a specific problem or applying a specific form of expertise and you do not much care which business vertical or audience your clients come from.

Previous emails in this series have described the benefits and risks of a platform specialization, which is the other type of horizontal specialization.

Finally, service specialization is where you specialize your service delivery. This is often synonymous with productization (where you standardize the scope and pricing of your services) or, more specifically, innovative service productization where you standardize your scope in a unique way that's attractive to a narrow spectrum of clients.

These are the 5 ways you can narrow the focus of your business in order to more easily earn visibility and trust.

Can you combine multiple ways of specializing, like focusing on a single vertical and specializing in solving a specific problem?

You don't need me to answer that for you; you feel the answer in your bones, don't you?

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