Are You a Specialist or a Generalist?

You have probably heard of the expression, “Jack of all Trades, Master of None.” It begs the question, when marketing your business, should you claim to do everything, or be a specialist. There are pros and cons for both, your industry also is factor, so here are some points to consider.

The One Stop Shop

For a buyer, dealing with a company that takes full control has its benefits. There is one face to liaise with and only one backside to kick if something goes wrong. Buyers though are cautious, they are likely to worry, if one person is going to build, plaster, plumb and install the electrics for example. They know very few people are proficient is such a broad range of tasks.

They will be more comfortable, if one person takes control, managing the subcontractors for the specialist tasks. Some business owners wrongly believe it’s a weakness to admit they are weak in some areas, I disagree, I see it as sign of strength, concentrating on their strengths.

The Specialist

When using Google or similar, the search term entered is more likely to be specialist. If for example the boiler has failed, they will enter boiler repairs rather than plumber or even heating engineer. The same is true for people seeking other services, they will enter employment lawyer not solicitor for example.

Another reason to be a specialist is money, customers expect to pay more for a specialist, and the more special they sound the better the rate.

Marketing Specialisms

When I was involved in selling software systems some years ago, a major competitor succeeded in selling what was effect the same product for different tasks under different names. Our product could do the same tasks, in my opinion better! but because it wasn’t marketed specifically to do a specialist task, some potential customers were put off.

The lesson to learn is to market the specialisms the market is looking for. On your website for instance, have separate areas, preferably pages covering the different areas. Remember to focus on products, skills or services people will be looking for.

In some cases, separate companies or at least marketing approaches covering different areas are justified. If for example you have skills in a small but high paying niche area, it can be worth the expense setting it up.


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