Imagine walking into your favorite place to get Mexican food and ordering a burger.
In your head, you’re probably rejecting this idea without hesitation. Let me ask you a question, and I want you to really reflect on it: What would stop you from ordering a burger from a Mexican restaurant?
Well, there are several valid reasons. For example, it’s probably not even on the menu. But it goes beyond the menu. Why don’t most Mexican restaurants have cheeseburgers on the menu in the first place? Let’s break this down.
The restaurant can only offer items that they have the ingredients for. They can only cook items their chefs have been trained to cook. They can only offer a limited selection of items or else the kitchen staff is going to have a challenging time trying to multitask.
They’re also limited by their price point. If most of their entrees cost more than $10, it wouldn’t make sense to have one menu item, a cheeseburger, cost significantly less.
Finally, a restaurant can only allocate so much labor to its menu. Why would they want to put in an order for ingredients that would only be used for one menu item — an item someone could easily get at the fast-food restaurant down the street for even cheaper?
All of this is to say that, just like restaurants, businesses need to define their focus and limit their scope to make sure they’re truly operating to their full potential.
So, how can you develop your business’s menu? What I mean by that is how can you decide what your business will offer to potential customers and clients? I want to share the three steps I used to create the “menu” at my business so you can have a better idea of how to create yours.
Let’s start with step one.
1. Define Your Goals
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how easily we can forget this step. We get so excited about the potential of our business that we forget how to get there in the first place. That’s why defining our goals is so important; it allows us to create a roadmap from point A to point B, which is essential for future growth.
I challenge you to write down 10 goals you have for your business right now. They can be as specific or as general as you want. These 10 goals will help you determine a starting point. Over time, you’ll be able to solidify these goals even more. Right now, though, you just need a place to start.
Think about it: If a restaurant owner wrote down 10 basic menu ideas, it would generate other menu ideas, which would help them think about what they could offer, what ingredients they would need, and more.
Writing down 10 goals will actually bring you to step two: Embrace your scope.
2. Embrace Your Scope
We all have huge dreams for our business. Of course, we want our businesses to grow to their fullest potential. And guess what? You can absolutely make that happen, especially when you have clear goals. The catch is that you need to understand your scope.
My team knows that I tend to branch out into several different directions. I want to offer communication training across several different industries. The thing is, sometimes I need to choose a specific direction to focus on and stay in that lane until the project is fully developed to foster the growth we want to see.
Just like a Mexican restaurant that chooses not to serve cheeseburgers, you don’t want to put time and energy into something your business doesn’t really need at a given time.
In other words, your scope has to stay relevant and streamlined to make sure your business is growing. Your scope can change over time, but in general, we need to have scope to narrow in on our goals and move projects to the finish line.
Now, let’s move on to step three.
3. Evaluate Your Strengths and Weaknesses
I recently had a conversation with one of my team members about how to truly scale the business. We have to make sure our current processes and procedures are working. After all, if something isn’t operating correctly and we keep trying to grow, we’ll just increase damage instead of reaching our goals.
That’s why, to build your menu, you need to make sure you evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your initiatives thoroughly and often. This may include using split testing or asking your customers or clients for feedback.
As a quick exercise, think about a project your team is working on. Ask yourself the following questions:
• What is working well?
• What could be improved?
This will give you a starting point for finding potential strengths and weaknesses so you can determine the next steps to scale your business.
Watch Your Business Scale
You can reevaluate every step on this list at any moment. Creating your menu (and revising it when necessary) will result in exciting possibilities for your business.
It’s time to create your menu and watch your business grow into its potential. Empower yourself to set your business up for success by working on your menu today.
This post was originally published on forbes.com.