Small businesses: specialize, don't be a generalist

Small businesses that do everything under the sun lose credibility.

If you wanted a deck built for your house, would you feel more comfortable hiring a general contractor who does all types of construction work or someone who just builds decks?  Most people would pick the specialist.  So, be a specialist.  Just so you know, specialists can typically charge far more than generalists.  More so, you will find that when you specialize, you create an opportunity to be known for your specialty, a trait that can generate a lot of business.

A repairman that once came to my house to fix the refrigerator told me that he used to install and repair all types of appliances.  But as time went on, he decided to focus on a certain brand of products.  His business grew.  Later he focused only on that brand’s refrigerators.  It turns out that there is a big market just for this in my metropolitan area.  He is booked every day and has lowered his overhead expenses dramatically because he only needs to stock a limited number of parts. He also reduces his ongoing training time and costs to keep up to speed with new products.

Successful lawyers, accountants, real estate professionals, consultants all carve out niches for their businesses.  Sure, you’ve heard of law firms and consulting practices of large companies that provide an assortment of services.  But that’s just the point: those organizations are large.  They’ve got entire departments devoted to getting customers.  Small businesses must think and operate differently.  By specializing, your size becomes one of your biggest advantages.

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