There once was a man who invented a universal bug spray. It worked on virtually every kind of pesky bug you could imagine.
One spray, and within seconds…dead bug.
He bottled it up and sold it in a local store.
“Universal Bug Spray. Kills ALL Bugs. One Spray is all you need”
It said on the can. He couldn’t wait to get rich.
The problem was, it didn’t sell very well.
After a few weeks, he had a few customers who all seemed to rave about the product, but most of the cans he put on the shelves were collecting dust. It was non-toxic, odorless and pet-safe, and people in town were always complaining about bugs. This was supposed to work!
Then, he had an idea.
He took all of the unsold cans home, took off all the labels and slapped a new label on some of them that said,
“Cockroach Spray. Kills ALL Cockroaches. One Spray is all you need.”
On some other cans, he put…
“Spider Spray. Kills ALL Spiders. One Spray is all you need.”
He had labels made for all kinds of different bugs, from ants to aphids, house flies and even fleas. The same formula, just packaged differently.
He brought the cans back to the store and within a week, most of the cans were SOLD OUT.
The reason his universal bug spray didn’t sell is because people don’t have a bug problem, they have an ant problem, a cockroach problem, or an aphid problem.
And when we have a specific problem, we see more value in the solution that’s made for that specific problem — not the universal solution.
Years ago I started a fishing site that covered one region of the US. The site was popular and gained users quickly.
I thought we should expand and cover the whole world.
Growth was OK, but slowed.
On a restart of the company we niched back down and focused on one region using the same technology, format and everything as the other site.
The site grew…fast. And…
To my surprise the site surpassed the “all fishing” site.
I sold it for my first exit. Lesson learned.
Have you made this mistake in your business or life? Are you making it now?
If you have a success story, hit reply and tell me about it because we need to share it with others and I’ll include it in a future newsletter.
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SOURCES: Pat Flynn reminded me of this story recently in an email.
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