Is Not Specializing Holding Your Business Back?
Have you ever heard the phrase, "You can do anything but not everything"? Well it applies in business as well. Four years ago I went to lunch with a very successful business man and my uncle. He was consulting my uncle and telling him he just needs to focus on one or two services. My uncle argued and said, "I want to show that I do everything though. I won't get enough clients if I just focus on one or two?" The man said this while smiling, "You are assuming that there is not enough people in this city of 3.2 million to keep you busy? Trust me boy, you will make more money." At the time I did not fully grasp why that was true. More services more money right? But years later and having helped transform a one room salon to a six figure business in 9 months, as well as helping many other small businesses through my own design firm, I realized he was completely right. And these are the reasons why:
You Can't Be Everything Online
I think we can all agree that our world is turning virtual. Billboards, bus stop posters, and newspaper ads aren't getting the return that they used to. The reason? No one can see them because they are looking down at their phone! It is safe to say that if you want to build a successful business you have to have a strong online presence. If you are still wondering how to get a strong online presence read my blog on how I helped build Sugar Me Wax from the ground up purely through online marketing! Now, using the esthetician field as a model, very rarely will someone say "I need my lash extensions, a facial, and a wax and I want it all done at one place". 99% of the time someone will say "I need a wax!" And what will they do? They will go online and search "Waxing in Chicago". If you do not specialize in waxing you most likely won't come up on the front page even if you offer waxing as a service. That means the person who specializes in that service just stole one of your potential clients! This applies to any service in any field.
People Want An Expert
If I want the best sushi in town I am not going to get it at a place that makes burgers, pasta, seafood, and gyros too. I am going to get it at a sushi restaurant. Even if the quality of sushi is the exact same, I am going to assume that the sushi restaurant is going to make me better sushi because that is what they specialize in. Same with a lawyer. When people graduate from law school almost all of them specialize. They understand the need of their potential clients wanting an expert to work on their case. When someone says. "I need a wax!" They don't mean just any wax. They mean the BEST wax. People want to go to someone they trust whole heartedly and even though you may give a great wax, they are still going to go to that waxing boutique down the street because in they just assume that that boutique is more experienced than the "We Do Everything" salon.
The Market Will Always Decide
After doing a trade for a long time people usually fall into their niche naturally. Be ok with that! I read about a the owner of a sandwich shop whos dream was to have a successful neighborhood sandwich shop where people would come in, eat, socialize, and work. He also offered catering on the side as well. For some reason his catering service was getting a lot more business than their storefront and he was using the catering revenue to keep the storefront open, until one day, he just went with it. He closed down his storefront and now has a very successful sandwich catering business. Layne, the lead esthetician at Sugar Me Wax, has been dubbed the Brazilian Queen and is often called the Sugar Mama. By specializing it makes your identity, as well as your brands identity stronger, and clearer.
It Strengthens Your Brand
Did you know Proctor and Gamble owns over 70 different brands? If all the products are made by the same company why doesn't P&G just stick the same label on them? Because they understand the importance of branding. Through strategic human analysis, P&G concluded that people want the best brands, not just generic brands. If consumers knew that the product they were purchases was just one of 70 other products that company makes, the products lose their value. P&G tapped into that subconscious human trait and created a specific brand for each on of their products.
Offer It, Don't Advertise It
There is nothing wrong with offering other services. For me, I can do SEO, copywriting, Facebook Advertising, and Print Design but branding and web design is what really made me stand out and is what people noticed. When someone has me design their website and they are thrilled with it they automatically trust me which opens the door for me to offer my other services.
If you have any questions or want to have a deeper conversation about this topic, please feel free to contact me!
P.S. I don't work with people who don't want to invest. I am all for advice and mentorship but you have to be willing to put in the time to really make it work! My mom always said if you put a batch of cookies in the oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees and they burn, what do you think will happen the next time you put a batch of cookies in for 15 minutes at 350 degrees? Have thick skin and be willing to adjust.