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On Target

Time is money, so don't waste yours. Focus on the prospects most likely to pay off.

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This story appears in the October 2006 issue of Start Up.

Focus can be a serious issue for new entrepreneurs. After all, you're learning everything you can about starting and running a business, working with new customers or clients, and mastering sales and marketing. But unless your marketing efforts are skillfully focused on your best prospects, all your tactics will miss the mark.

Can you spot a great prospect when you encounter one? Are you sure? Often, your best prospect is someone who's working with or buying from your competitor. To gain market share, you have to chip away at someone else's customer base. So if you contact prospects and quickly cross off anyone who's already working with or buying from someone else, you'll miss vital opportunities to grow your business.

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