Can Business Versatility Hurt Profitability?

business versatility

Can business versatility be a bad thing?

Well, if you’re talking about having an adaptable business that can evolve quickly to meet a changing market, the answer is probably no.

But if your products or services are too general or poorly defined, your company’s business versatility could become a liability.

As digital marketer Neil Patel explains:

Let’s assume that you’re a graphic designer. If you want to become an authority in your industry, being a jack-of-all-graphics-designs won’t help you, and it might make potential clients less inclined to hire you.”

Instead, Patel suggests working to “narrow your niche.” Target a specific part of a larger market. Be more specific about the products or services you specialize in. Patel adds:

For example, you could upgrade your skills to become a WordPress theme designer, logo/website header designer, ebook cover designer, or corporate branding expert. Don’t try to target every potential client out there.”

It’s easy to understand why picking more specific products or services can improve your odds of getting hired.

It might even increase the amount of money customers or clients are willing to pay for your services.

Think about what would happen if you were seeking out the services of a good attorney.

You want advice on how to protect a trademark for your business. Wouldn’t you seek out an attorney with trademark experience instead of seeking out a general practice firm?

Similarly, if you’re looking for a cover design for your latest ebook, you’ll want a graphic designer who may have designed hundreds of ebook covers before.

You’ll pick that designer over someone who may have designed one or two in between other completely unrelated projects, won’t you?

To narrow your niche, Patel suggests, among other things, that you first define your ideal client.

For example, you may not want to market yourself to clients in need of, say, graphic design for album covers. This is especially the case if you have no experience or interest doing this kind of design.

On the other hand, you may not want to define your niche too narrowly either. If there aren’t enough paying clients in need of ebook covers out there, consider adding WordPress design to your specialties, for example.

Having the flexibility to adapt to change when necessary is great.

But being all things to all people may leave clients wondering if you have the experience and expertise for the specific service they need.

Versatility photo via Shutterstock 3 Comments ▼

Shawn Hessinger Shawn Hessinger is the Executive Editor for Small Business Trends and a professional journalist with more than 20 years experience in traditional and digital media for trade publications and news sites. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has served as a beat reporter, columnist, editorial writer, bureau chief and managing editor for the Berks Mont Newspapers.

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  1. Measuring profitability is ensuring that you are making money and you allocate your resources consciously.