Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Every company, founder and leader has a hierarchy of basic values that are typically universal, usually predictable, but always required. You don’t need to hear another rendition on why a focus on culture is so critical or why a brand mission statement that is integrated into all layers of a company is key to success. We get it, and we know — these are all good things.
But I want to take this a step further. I want to explain why hyper-focusing is so game-changing that without it, mere focusing has little to no value. When I hyper-focus, I feel so mission-oriented to accomplish, unlock or optimize whatever I’m zeroed in on. But without hyper-focus, I’ve come to realize that simply focusing on something is too broad, too macro and too blanketing that I leave unimpressed. A sense of direction comes through focusing, but results only come from hyper-focusing.
There are many areas of a P&L, strategy, mission, etc. that demand a state of hyper-focus. Below are a few examples:
Stop focusing on channel, competitor and retail consumption data for anything beyond trends. Start hyper-focusing on store-level data to create trends.
Most consumer brands have access to consumption data packages to drive key decision-making and insights. There is no competitive advantage to this data as it is too macro and accessible to drive any meaningful insights that inform tactical decision-making. Instead of focusing on channel and retailer consumption, take your data approach a level deeper to store-level consumption. Create hyper-focused markets using store-level numbers to test, learn and create a playbook for success that can be lifted and shifted to other markets. This is how you create trends vs. report on trends.
Have tunnel vision that is hyper-focused on your company, only
In consumer industries, there is a high risk of getting distracted by what is happening in the industry broadly. This is due to the large number of sales trade shows, supply trade shows, industry events, industry PR, industry Slacks, etc. When you focus on weekly valuation headlines or daily LinkedIn brand highlight reels, you inevitably feel the urge to catch up and grab your share of buzz at the expense of more meaningful uses of time. Have tunnel vision on your company, only. A well-thought-out strategy does not get impacted by what others in the industry are doing. Remain hyper-focused on your company at all costs.
Hyper-focus on your core products before you add more
Too often I see consumer brands proliferating their assortment of offerings before the brand has even cracked meaningful household penetration on its core product line. $100MM in net revenue coming from five SKUs is infinitely more meaningful than $100MM in net revenue coming from 20 SKUs. When it comes to value creation, it is often more valuable to not do than to do. History is against you. Out of the tens of thousands of brands that have launched over the past decades, there are arguably less than five brands that have innovated in multiple categories and created a brand equity that is equally tied to each. Shoppers are humans, and humans are predictable. You will never go wrong with hyper-focusing on the core. But the odds are against you when you lose your hyper-focus to go beyond the core.
These are just several of the areas where I believe entrepreneurs must hyper-focus in order to maximize productivity and impact. Even outside of consumer products, founders are generally limited by their two scarcest resources: their own time and attention. The more diffuse your focus is across various tasks, the less you will thrive and succeed in your priority areas.