What happens when you try to please too many people?

There’s lots of talk of ‘finding your niche’ in my work, and it’s something that many people struggle with. Parts of your brain tell you to appeal to more people in more ways – and therefore sell more. (“A supermarket”)

However, to charge true value and present yourself as an expert – you can’t be jack of all trades, you need to focus your time, energy and knowledge (“A specialist”).

Here’s an example.

You want a bottle of whisky for a Father’s Day gift. You dad have drunk it for decades and you would assume, has favourites and a good understanding of it. BUT, you know little about it. What do you do?

Option 1: You get a bottle from the supermarket.

That’s ok – it’s £7 off and there were about 10 to chose from. Plus, you’ll get some extra loyalty points too. No idea what it’s like, and the employee you asked to help said they “only stocks the shelves and usually work on the fruit isle”.

The supermarket will turn over vast profits, however there may often be an underlying negativity about how fair they treat their small suppliers. They would like you to return, but if we’re honest – you’re just a number to them,

Option 2: You go to a specialist retailer.

You’ve had to drive a bit further and couldn’t park right outside the shop, but find they have 800 whiskies. Not only that, the assistant has just come back from Scotland and tells you all about the different regions, what they like and why. They advise you on middle of the road ‘crown pleasers’, something a bit different and perhaps some more unusual ones you won’t find in general retail shops.

They will value the time spent with you and perhaps even know your name when you return.

You’ve paid a little more, but you’re confident your Dad will love the present.

Now, turn your attention to your business – Are you a supermarket or a specialist?

– Which model would help you build greater value?
– Which model will get you income the quickest
– Which model will get you more sustained income?
– Which model most aligns to your personal values?

You’ll notice I’m not stating which is right and which is wrong – how you feel about this may come down to any of these questions and only you can answer that.

So perhaps now consider the question we started with; What happens when you try to please too many people?

– Will you be seen as a specialist or a generalist?
– Will you be able to charge more or less for your services?
– What will make you stand out from the competition?
– Will you be building the type of business you want?

Again, no answers to give but I hope, lots to consider…?

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