As artists we are told to focus on one thing and one thing only. As entrepreneurs we are told you will spread yourself too thin and lose focus if you have too much going on. So the question becomes, is it survival to branch out and do many things or is it the death of business? Do you spread yourself too thin or resist new opportunities? True entrepreneurs have a hard time reeling in the ideas, the challenge is to market them in a logical and dedicated fashion. I know I am one of those entrepreneurs. I have notebooks of ideas that haven’t made the cut and others that didn’t hit the level of success expected. Does that mean they are bad ideas or products? I don’t think so because even though many didn’t hit financial success they did help me grow, learn a new skill, or offer a new service. My comic book series for kids didn’t sell out by any means but I have used it bring in more work for the studio therefore it wasn’t a lost venture. In-fact it is just starting to move and I haven’t published it in the last couple of years.
I personally believe you are dead in the water if you focus solely on one thing in this day and age. Everyone is diversifying because with the Internet loyalty has gone out the window for many and if you have multiple products you can make yourself look much more attractive. I think where people get mixed up is that you must have a single focus. For instance my studio is an illustration and design studio, but we offer many products and services from logo design to cartooning, but everything falls under illustration and design. I don’t offer baking supplies or sell medical supplies, leave that stuff for the big stores. It is also important that you keep moving with the times. We have now expanded to video production and animation from our cartooning.
The trick is to keep the focus but keep expanding at the same time. Our company is known for different things in different markets, that’s okay because when one is slow the other is busy. To me branching out is survival!
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is an author, illustrator, and speaker. He has two business books on the market with one specializing in the arts. For more information on Bruce and his work please visit his website at www.bruceoutridgeproductions.com