One's ability to focus is often tied to his or her capacity for greatness. Or something like that. I don't know – that's a thing, right? I have a difficult time focusing on anything other than eating food, which is probably indicative of my future success (read: failure). But being focused and having a focal point are essential in running a successful business, and no one knows that better than the guys at bizHive.
For Dave Walker and Derick Thompson, the cofounders of bizHive, focus is something that runs throughout every level of the company. It starts with their focus on small businesses. BizHive – in a nutshell – is a central resource and marketplace for small businesses who want to attract new customers or increase their sales using new media.
“New media has made it difficult – frankly, even for big companies – to attract consumers,” says Walker, citing consumer behavior to today's marketing strategies.
BizHive focuses on helping small businesses find marketing solutions in new media, anything from creating Facebook business pages to setting up customer royalty programs with the help of mobile tech. According to Walker, small businesses often don't dedicate a lot of time creating comprehensive marketing strategies to attract new customers or increase sales; they're concentrated on the products or the services that they offer to their communities.
“It's not the failure of the product or the service or the passion…it's a failure on the marketing and the ability to keep up,” remarks Walker.
This focus on small business is most notably seen in the way bizHive charges them: it doesn't. The resources and advice they offer is free, and getting quotes from the marketing product and service companies listed on bizHive's “intelligent marketplace” costs absolutely nothing to the small business owner.
Internally, the two have very distinct roles in the company: Walker doing the hustling and Thompson doing the hacking. Even then, though, staying focused is one of the difficult lessons that Walker and Thompson have had to learn.
“When you're a startup, the hardest thing to do is to stay focused…several [possibilities and ideas] excite you, but if you can't restrain yourself and focus, then you're unable to recognize what opportunities you should be pursuing and what you shouldn't,” says Walker.
Walker says that startups need to find some method to remain focused; otherwise, you end up wasting time on a project or idea that wasn't essential to your business' overall focus. “Time is your precious resource, and startups don't really have those.” Well, with just nine months under their belt, it seems that bizHive has done a good job focusing, having already made over 1,000 different connections between local businesses and marketing service providers on its marketplace.