Over the past two decades, businesses have taken great pride in being able to offer a range of different (though often related) services. These businesses will market themselves as a “one-stop shop” thanks to the breadth of services within their remit; this kind of marketing has become so commonplace that most of us naturally assume that customers want a one-stop shop, a business that can do it all… but is this really the case? In truth, the answer seems to be a resounding “no”. Some business owners may believe their ability to offer a range of services is something customers welcome, but if you’re looking to start a business yourself, there are good reasons to avoid following in their footsteps.
“Jack of all trades, master of none”
While this saying has been around for years, its core concept is one that remains incredibly relevant for customers. If a business offers a range of - often rather unconnected - services, the business owner may see this as a valuable “one-stop shop” arrangement and assume customers will flock to hire them. However, customers see things differently, wondering: “if the business does so many different things, is it really that good at any of them?”
The reliance on specialisation
Furthering this idea is the fact that all of us will, at some point, opt for specialisation. The best example of this is in medicine. We will visit a general practitioner if we are experiencing an ailment; a GP can be considered a “one-stop shop” of medical professionals, as they deal with a range of issues encompassing the entire body. GPs do this very well, but if an ailment is particularly complex, they will refer the issue to a specialist. The medical example is just one case where the reinforcement of “specialisation equals expertise” exists, and this is an issue you’ll want to keep in mind when creating your business plan.
The downfall of department stores
As a final confirmation of the fact that specialisation is preferable to providing a wide variety of services, look no further than the fact that department stores - the ultimate “one-stop shop” businesses - are struggling.
So what does this mean for anyone looking to start a business?
Essentially, go niche - perhaps even as far as micro niche. There are a variety of businesses that specialise in one particular area, seeking to ensure they do that single thing incredibly well, for example:
- Pressure washing businesses - a great business idea that focuses solely on providing power washing supplies, using state-of-the-art equipment to clean paths, driveways, and building exteriors
- Concrete polishing businesses - a shiny concrete floor is highly desirable, particularly for commercial buildings, and concrete polishing businesses use the tools available from the likes of Carrdiamond in order to create outstanding results for their clients
- Dog walking businesses - a simple idea that focuses on providing a single service but is nevertheless highly in-demand…
- … and many more besides.
While it might be tempting to look to start a business that meets the old “one-stop stop” goal, as we have discussed, these businesses aren’t as popular or in-demand as many people expect. By seeking a small niche and truly specialising in one particular area, you may well stand a better chance of building a successful business in the future.