Business owners want to help a full fill a void, solve a problem or simply help people. Many business owners are so passionate about what they do they try to be “Everything to Everyone.” This is a tricky trap to get into, it creates too much confusion for your business, staff and customers.

First off the identity of the business is in danger. If you’re going after everyone, it’s a very big net to cast out in the consumer market. What do you have to offer? Who are you going after? With any business, it’s important to find what you do really well and focus on it. A simple example would be a steak house serving Italian food once a week. If I want Italian food I’ll go to an Italian restaurant, not a steak house. Focus your talent on the rib eye and your business identity will be stronger.

If your staff doesn’t know what’s going on than how will your customers? The problem of being “Everything to Everyone” is your staff get bounced around providing one thing today and something completely different tomorrow. If your staff can’t explain and show enthusiasm for what’s provided, your customers will see this and pass their dollars to the competition. “What do you guys do?” If you hear this question your customers are confused. Focusing on what you do well will create a business identity your customers are looking for.

The modern consumer has so many outlets to search, research and choose who they spend their money with. When they know what you do, and what you do well, they will think of your business. The ultimate goal is to make it easy for your customers to walk through your doors. When you stop being “Everything to Everyone” there will be a clearer picture of who you are as a business.

Justin Harmon is a manager and branding strategist for Known In 60 Media

He can be reached at