The other day, I had a conversation with an entrepreneur who was eager to boost his revenue from $400,000 to $1 million.
Like many business owners, including my younger self, he was stuck on the idea of “going wide”, creating a new income stream by opening a second business.
This was not the first time I’ve talked through this idea with a fellow entrepreneur. Most entrepreneurs have a strong instinct to grow their revenue through new businesses instead of doing more with the business they already have. I’ve even been in this guy’s shoes myself.
Several years ago, as 911 Restoration became more successful, I turned around and invested my earnings into several new business opportunities. I figured this was the easiest way to build an empire.
It really wasn’t. I spread myself too thin, I neglected the business that was already working for me, and when the Great Recession hit, I lost almost all my investments.
Looking back now, it seems so obvious that I should have gone deeper into my successful business—investing money back into it and helping it grow.
I mean, let’s think about it. Having spent years building up 911 Restoration, I knew what worked and what didn’t. I knew why my business was successful and could have doubled down on those strengths to push our growth to new heights. The ROI certainly would have been much higher; I’d only have to invest in enhancements instead of funding a whole new enterprise.
On paper, it’s pretty clear: the fastest, easiest way to grow a business from $400,000 to $1 million is by investing back into the team and system that brought you this far. So why did I—and why do most entrepreneurs—have this instinct to spread ourselves thin?
Why do we go wide when we have so much more to gain from going deep?
Why We Resist Going Deep
Becoming a business owner takes courage. If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ve already faced a lot of fears.
You’ve stared down self-doubt and failure. You’ve pushed beyond your comfort zone. And you would probably love to just enjoy your hard-earned success for a while.
Unfortunately, you probably also know, at least on some level, that achieving the financial freedom that inspired your business journey requires pushing your business to new heights. And you can’t push your business without pushing yourself.
Growth requires diving into the unfamiliar, even within the context of a business that is very familiar to you. You have to embrace new technology, experiment with new services, establish new relationships, expand into new territories.
You have to be uncomfortable, uncertain, and afraid.
This is where the thought of going wide holds a certain appeal. You know how to start a business now. You’ve done it… and you’ve done it successfully. And because of that, it starts to feel like the easy money lies in allowing your current business to run itself while you step back and repeat the same familiar process with a new revenue machine.
In truth, it’s an incredibly slow strategy for building up to your first $1 million. But it feels safe. And as painful as it may be to admit, that’s why we choose it.
How to Go Deep
If you want to get to $1 million (or whatever your target revenue is) fast, the first thing you have to do is accept that it isn’t going to be easy. Just like starting your business, growing your business is going to require courage and personal transformation.
But the good news is, each time you step outside your comfort zone, the easier it becomes to take on those challenges. So when it’s time to push even further, you’ll trust yourself and feel more confident in the process.
Once you have your head in the right place, examine your business’s greatest strengths and look for opportunities to expand… whether that means expanding your territory, your marketing, or the scope of your services. This is a great time to do a SWOT analysis, and you can find a free SWOT analysis tool right here.
A few questions that will help you go deeper are:
- How can I understand my customer’s emotions and needs better?
- What additional services, products, or systems will add value to the customer?
- How can my team and I get in front of more clients? Is there an area of the market we haven’t been able to reach yet?
- Is there a way to make working with us more convenient for customers? Should we introduce new technology or simpler methods of managing payment?
- How do we set ourselves apart from the competition? Is there a way to double down on those strengths?
Return to these questions often, even after you’ve hit your target revenue. The answers will change continuously over time, and keeping them top of mind is a really reliable way to ensure ongoing growth for your company.
For super fast growth, think about building professional relationships. Consider things like:
- Could I expand our reach and services by partnering with contractors?
- Who can I reach out to about a referral partnership?
- Is there someone who has accomplished what I want to accomplish? How can I connect with them?
The most important thing to remember is that your business is not just proof of your ability to start a business; it’s proof of your ability to learn, adapt, and thrive within your market. This thing you’re doing… it’s working.
And if you keep pushing… if you keep learning and adapting, you’ll keep thriving.
So resist the temptation to go wide.
Gather your courage, take this next bold plunge, and go deep.