Who Do You Serve and Where Do You Focus?

There’s a great conversation happening between two of my favorite entrepreneurial guys, Jonathan Fields and Bryan Franklin, about the focus on marketing v. customers that stemmed from a tweet by Bryan last week that said:

“I noticed that the speakers with $1-$3M businesses were fascinated with marketing, and the speaker with $100M biz was fascinated with customers.”

Jonathan says Bryan is right and that you’ll “solve most of your business problems by spending more energy figuring out how best understand your customers’ lives, psyches and challenges, then working to solve your customers problems and deliver delight to their doorsteps.”

And he gives you 7 simple ways to serve, solve and delight customers here.

But what about if you aren’t even clear on exactly who your customers are?  That’s where I see most entrepreneurs get stuck –  trying to figure out exactly who they serve and what they do for them.

So, I add to Bryan and Jonathan’s thoughts this video commentary on where to focus your energy depending on the stage of your business:

Bottom line, before you can focus on either marketing OR customers you need to know who you serve, what you do for them, how you do it and how much you charge for it.

Once you figure that out, you are on your way to having a real business and can get to the $1mm, $3mm and even $100mm level.  But until then, the only thing you should really be focusing on is that.

So, who are your customers?

Be as specific as you can and then you can really start to get to know them and become fascinated with the marketing systems to reach them and the service systems to serve them.

Tell us all … I’d love to know who you serve and what you do to love them.


  1. JobJennyFriday, October 29, 2010 at 10:40 pm 

    I’m Jenny Foss, the voice of JobJenny.com and owner of a small recruiting firm. I serve job seekers, entrepreneurs and dreamers who hope to, at least one day, build a career around their passions.

    How do I serve them? I teach them how to progress toward a new job or an entrepreneurial endeavor using tools that have a fighting chance of working today. I help them understand what doesn’t work very well any more (e.g. surfing Monster.com all day long), then I arm them with tools, ideas and strategies that do. I listen to them. I care about them. And I’m right there to give them the tough love and high-fives that they need and deserve.

    I’m also hellaciously fun to work with. An absolutely essential quality when your customers are, more often than not, stressed out, concerned about money, and wondering how they’re EVER going to get their careers on track.

    I like this post.a lot. It definitely feels that many online professionals are laser-focused on “How can I turn a buck out of these people? How? How? How?” The notion that you focus first on the customer (and, as a result, are exponentially more successful) appears so obvious, but I completely get how entrepreneurs can lose sight of this as they madly scramble to sell, sell, sell stuff.



  2. Tambra HarckTuesday, November 2, 2010 at 1:29 am 

    Hello ~

    Love this question: who do you serve.

    I’m answering a deep, emergent call to serve a select group women are called to live a certain path of transformation, of maturity and potential. She is meant to serve today’s changing world.

    She is a leader – in her community, in her family, in business. She may own her own business. She may have been in the “corporate world.” It’s not about where she leads, simply that she is a leader.

    In the beginning, this woman’s path is not an easy one. Still she finds it rewarding. She works hard. And she is proud.

    In the middle, it can be horrifying and frightening, even crazy-making, as everything around her seems to be shredding. She hits a wall where she’s no longer able to perform.

    When she emerges on the other side of the transformation, she is richer, wiser, healthier, more balanced, of greater service and she experiences a sense of ease and well-being she never imagined was possible.

    And while I’ve been mentoring women who are called to this path for many years, very recently I’ve realized that this is my primary work right now. I’m honored to step into this powerful level of soulful service. I will be opening up a program for women who are in a stage of their descent or re-emergence, who will join together in sacred circle for mentoring, guidance, and transcendence.

    We will begin in November 2010. If you would like to find out more – and how you can move more swiftly and with more grace through this life-changing time, send an email to

    [email protected]

    Be Well~

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