On Focus and Taking Our Own Advice

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Let's focusWe’ve been feeling like imposters for the last few weeks. You see, whenever we talk to a small-business owner or startup founder, we advise them to focus. To go after one customer segment. To highlight one benefit. To talk in one voice across their marketing channels.

How can you “focus” on more than one thing at a time? How can you “highlight” 37 services? How can you, with the constraints of a small business, manage more than one brand and ensure that your audience doesn’t get confused by conflicting messages?

But we’ve been doing all of this ourselves. We’ve introduced ourselves as “marketing consultants, and we also have a product” or as “we’re building a product, and we also do consulting services.” We’ve been dividing our time between servicing clients and working on the product.

If your feet are on two boats, what happens when the boats gather speed?

We’ve been gathering speed now, with some significant updates to the product. We have a ton of things we want to do with improving and marketing Markitty, so Nilesh and I sat together and listed down everything we wanted to do and assigned responsibilities. We also jotted down how much time we’d need for each activity.

We came to a total of around 300 hours per month for each of us.

For some hours, we tried to pretend that was possible. That we could work 10 hours every day of the month, and that we hadn’t underestimated the time it would take us to get at least some of those things done. (You almost always underestimate the time it will take you to get something done, except when you overestimate the time an unpleasant task will take you.)

But we realized something had to give. And it can’t be Markitty: this is why we started, this is the dream we’re building. This is how we can help hundreds of small businesses, instead of only half a dozen.

So we’re closing down consulting services. Not completely: we’ll still spend several hours a week consulting businesses on marketing (not for money but for for the joy of it). We’ll continue to do Office Hours for as long as we can.

It’s time to start taking our own advice. (Or actually Ries and Trout’s, whose book on Positioning is probably the closest I have to a marketing Bible.)

So we’ve taken the Consulting Services page off the website. We are still a marketing company, just that we are now a marketing product company. Our goal remains helping small businesses with marketing. We will continue to write about marketing, and we’re still happy to answer questions and give you feedback on your marketing.

But if you want regular feedback and nudges, get Markitty. :)


5 thoughts on “On Focus and Taking Our Own Advice

  1. I agree totally. Focus is what’s critical! Even when it comes to your product, focus on the core of what your users will be doing on it and reinforce it. That needs to be Ironman equivalent!

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