Back in April, I saw a tweet that said narrowing the focus can increase the quality. This concept reminded me of the beginning of my career at Service Express in the early 2000s. At the time, we were trying to figure out how to grow and scale the company, while under the impression that all revenue is good revenue. We were trying to get into data centers by selling printer accounts hoping they would lead to servers and storage hardware in the data center. Despite the fact that printer maintenance is a profitable business, it wasn’t the focus for Service Express. 80% of our calls were coming from printers, but they were only 20% of our revenue. Our intention from the start was to use our printer business to get our foot in the door, which we did. We built up a reputation and proved that we could start providing service in data centers.
After careful thought, we decided that it was time to get out of the printer business. Rather than selling everything that everybody wants to buy, the focus needed to be narrowed down.
Our decision was well thought out, but we still feared that we wouldn’t be able to continue double digit growth after separating from printing. Luckily, we were happy to find that there were only positive results. Such as an increase in revenue and customer satisfaction — the outcomes we were excited to see.
Focusing on the data center business allowed us to plan and create more effective training. As Jim Collins explains in his book, “Good to Great,” companies are more likely to die from opportunity consumption than opportunity starvation. When you’re doing too much, you become adequate at best. That’s why being focused and striving to be the best at what you do creates positive results. Narrowing the focus increases the quality of business as well as personal lives; doing so has allowed Service Express to be as successful as it is today.