This is first in the series of Top 10 Basic Business Principles, and it is important that you get this one right.

One of the more difficult decisions to make in business is what am I going to do within the business, and even more importantly, what am I NOT going to do. This decision will impact your business in a significant way.

One area of deciding what to do is in trying to answer the question, “What am I going provide as a product or service, and what are the limits to that product or service?” It is very easy to try to be “all things to all people.” Problems occur when we stretch ourselves so thin doing so that we lose our ability to do anything in a great way.

Most small business owners have been hit with the dilemma of needing revenue, (sometimes desperately), and being tempted to take on something outside of their core competency. The pressure to do so can be great. I’ve even done it. What usually results is that the project becomes profitless due to the extra time and resources needed to come up to speed on how to do it, and do it well. You, or your people may not possess the skills to pull something like this off.

It is hard, if not impossible, for any business, let alone a small business to develop core competency in many areas. Focusing on what you do well is most often the path to profitability and growth. It is not always wrong to take on a new product or service, but it must be done carefully and strategically.

It is worth it to become ruthless in this area. Be willing to walk away from a sale if need be. Instead, look for the potential clients that you know that you will be able to service well.

Another area where you need to ask yourself this question is in the roles that you will fill within your company. What are you good at? What do you like to do? Who can I get to handle some of the other things? Once again, it is impossible for the business owner to do everything that needs to be done in a business. If you try to, you will get mediocre results, or you will burn out and quit!

Even small business owners can afford to hire a virtual assistant, a commissioned sales person, or a key person to help pick up the slack in the areas that you cannot, and probably should not, be involved personally.

What is boils down to, is figuring out what to specialize in. Find the right niche for you, and then work hard to become the very best within that niche. You can focus your human resources, as well as your marketing to become the very best in that area. This will give you the best chance for success, and help you keep your sanity on the journey.

Author's Bio: 

Michael Richards is an award winning Internet Marketer, Author, Speaker, and Business Coach. He has presented messages, speeches, webinars, and seminars around the world over the past 21 years.