How To Keep Your Focus

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Sometimes there is so much to do that you don't know where to begin. But keeping your focus on one idea can be easier than you think.

There is a special moment between the original idea and its development. It is before you have your business plan, it is before you have started with the nitty gritty details. It is that moment when you realize, I have a great idea and there is so much I could do with it.

The So Called Brilliant Idea

I remember having this moment when working on a travel app idea with a friend at an app development event. We wanted to make travel a surprising unexpected experience through this app. We were so excited; we could cater to business people travelling alone with an hour or two to explore the city. We could also cater to young travellers on last minute city trip. You know what, we could also cater families with kids also would like a ready planned trip through the city. Actually there were so many features we could add to the app, the possibilities were endless.

Back To Reality

It was great, the ideas were flowing, we were in the zone and suddenly one of the consultants stopped us. He said focus on the smallest possible niche. Image the whole target market as a funnel and keep narrowing it down. My first thought, what a kill joy, really. We had so many ideas and all he was talking about focusing and narrowing down our target market. It took me a while to realise his point.

The Case of Blu Murray

What helped me comprehend what he was talking about and to help explain this idea of focus was the start-up Blu Murray. Blu Murray produces business shirts for male students and young professionals who would like a high quality shirt but at an affordable price. This is their niche market that no other business serves. Elisabella Hu and Beini Yang the founders came up with the idea based on the fact that students wanted quality shirts that would survive more then a few washes but prices for that tend to be sky high. Beini Yang had gotten shirts developed in Shanghai for her friend who received a great deal of compliments for them. They realised they could meet this demand and dispel the illusion that good quality comes at a high price. They wanted to develop a business that operated with the mission that high-end pieces should be affordable to all, and that luxury comes with comfort. The shirts would be produced in Shanghai at a specialized shirts manufacturer with high quality raw materials and then shipped to the Netherlands. This was the start of their business, Blu Murray.

Endless Possibilities

The reason why Blu Murray is the perfect example is because their product is quite generic in the fact that business shirts have an extremely large possible target market. They could have focused on a multitude of markets. The next idea that came to mind was business suits. However, it would require an in house tailor. It would also mean that as they expand beyond Erasmus University they would require a multitude of tailors. By focusing on shirts and products such as ties their model could be made scalable and able to focus on the specific market.

Don’t Run Away With It

So whenever you start thinking about your start up idea, it is easy to run away and think of all types of possible expansions from different target markets to different extensions for features for your product. However, sometimes it is better to resist temptation and build a simple product that people will love. Focus on solving the problem at hand.

The Main Message

By focusing on students at the Erasmus University Blu Murray was able to find a way to provide them with the best possible service to meet the student’s needs, from a weekly fitting service for those who do not know their size to a free delivery service. By keeping your focus you can serve one specific target really well, understand their needs and meet them, and build a sustainable model. There is nothing wrong with thinking big but the key in my opinion is to start small and grow big from there. Deliver the original product first, see if it works and based on that develop the extensions.



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