How many “things” does your company offer?  How many different customers are you targeting right now?  Chances are, it may be too many.

The more niche and focused a business can be, the more successful that business is likely to become. After “owning” that niche, it is significantly easier for a company to add on to its expertise and offer even more. Think of Amazon, which started as an online way to buy books. Only after it began to “own” that industry, winning a huge market share, did it expand into offering other products.

I also share similar advice to our clients. The more focused your services and the more identifiable your potential customer, the more likely you are to grow.  Think about it… if you’re trying to sell to every business in the U.S., that’s more than 28 million businesses (according to stats from the SBA in 2010). Alternatively, if you’re only trying to sell to law firms, there were only 47,563 law firms serving the U.S. in the year 2000 (according to the American Bar Foundation).

When trying to focus your sales team, 47,563 is a much more approachable number than 28 million.  In addition to focusing your sales team, it also allows you to focus your R&D teams on products and improvements that best fit the legal industry. As you build a reputation within the legal industry, you’ll find that potential customers will soon seek you out as well because of your specialty.

But once you “own” the legal industry with your product, think of all the other markets that follow the similar business model that can be your next target audiences, such as accounting firms or insurance agencies.

So if you want your business to grow, follow Amazon’s book by starting off focused on being the best in your vertical and expand from there.