Published: February 5th, 2016; by Judi Hughes

Business owners are some of the most creative people I know. Small business owners by nature are always building something new.  They create new and wonderful products; they constantly think about better ways to do things and they are always looking for more exiting ways to grow their business.

However, this same creativity often stops even greater success. Their own creativity is the cause of the Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS). You can identify this syndrome by a few common phrases:

  • “Oh that’s a great idea!”
  • “I might never have this opportunity again!”
  • “I know this new initiative will knock my revenue through the roof.”

These simple phrases can give momentum to small business owners around the world.  They are permission to chase that shiny object taking them right off track and losing all focus on the important activities of growing their business. Someone once described it as being like a five year old on steroids!

Here are five of our favourite focus tools to help overcome the Shiny Object Syndrome.

Focus on Finishing

Do you wake up each day and excitedly announce to the world that “today I am going to finish something!” Probably not! It is so much more fun starting new initiatives. It is not nearly as much fun finishing things. That is why our lives often include projects that are 80% done and have slowly ground to a halt. Identify those 80% projects.  You’ve already invested the time. You started those projects because they were a great new idea at one time. Finish it; otherwise it will always only be a great idea!

Focus on Building Relationships

Forget transactional selling. Customers buy from you because they trust you.  They trust you because you have built a relationship with them. Instead of focusing on the next great new prospect, focus on building relationships with existing contacts. Nurture and build your relationships in a positive and professional manner:

  • Follow up with them
  • Do what you promised
  • Keep in touch
  • Help them

As you build your trusted community, stay in touch and provide value at every opportunity. Focus your marketing efforts on the diamonds in your backyard, there is money to be made. Our guarantee; if you build relationships you will get customers!

Focus on the Numbers

Numbers never lie! Identify your three or four critical numbers and stay focused on them. Measure them and when they fail to reach expectations initiate corrective action immediately. Avoid the pitfall of “we will make up the shortfall next month” because you won’t! Some examples of critical numbers:

  • Numbers of new people met
  • Marketing costs
  • Revenue
  • Profit
  • Size and quality of your contact database
  • Numbers of active clients

Focus on your Ideal Client

Not long ago we identified a gap in the market that we knew we could fill. We did some initial work on creating a program to fill the gap and were about to embark on its development and launch when reality hit us like cold water. While everything about the program and the gap it would fill was correct we realized that it would not be suitable for what we knew was our Ideal Client. With great sorrow we dropped the idea.

The reality is Not Everyone Wants To Buy From You.

Focus on Staying Focused

At the start of each quarter identify your 90 Day Focus and what MUST be achieved by the end of the quarter in order to achieve the plans you have set for yourself. Monitor your 90 Day Focus monthly.

  • Do one IMPORTANT thing every day before opening your email
  • Laminate your Vision and hang it on the wall
  • Schedule 4 days a month to work ON your business and honour it

Beware; taken a step further the Shiny Object Syndrome can become the Fragmented Focus Treadmill.  Don’t let the symptoms get out of control. Use these tools to focus on the things that will bring success to your business.

As always, we would love to hear about your small business. Contact us anytime.