Stop Trying to Be All Things to Everyone
Apr 24, 2018
You Can't Be All Things To All People- And Be Successful
Austin, Texas: I got a call the other day for a company needing 150 pencils for an event. I told her that we do not do pencils and gave her the number and website of a company that can help -- and she left me a one star review as she said she had felt snubbed and slighted. At first I was irritated by the review (especially as I had handled her email while on vacation)- then I regrouped with our team and decided that we were correct in specializing in what we do best--which is high tech promotional products--power banks and chargers, Bluetooth speakers and earbuds, branded computer backpacks, etc. -- and not to lose focus and to take our eyes off the goal.
Our company, Geek Tech Branding, has grown double digits over the past 12 years -- and I think it is because of our narrow focus..and deep understanding of our product line.
Imprinted plastic key chains may be nice for some companies-- we just don't sell them. Same holds true for plastic pens and shot glasses for weddings and proms.
Some businesses try to sell the widest spectrum of promotional products--lest they miss that order for 100 stadium cups.
How can any business be the master of their domain with a tiny bit of knowledge spread so thinly? We instead specialize in tech products and know it well. All of our employees are tech nerds (geeks actually) and we read the latest tech blogs and industry magazines, attend tech trade shows, talk to vendors and clients - and know technology trends - and the latest and best electronic promotional items better than anyone else.
Every company is free to choose their target audience. focus and/or product line - and that is what makes our promotional industry so exciting and fun. We decided long ago to go vertical in the high tech field- and to dominate it. If you want to know the top 5 Bluetooth headphones in the $30-$50 price range for an event--we can answer that quickly and with certainty for you. Same for the best wireless chargers that can ship in 3 days or less.
We focus and know what we do best.
How about your business? Are you taking the small or unprofitable orders because it is "good business to make everyone happy"? Ask your accountant how that is working for you.
Are you saying "YES" to every single request regardless of the bottom line - while not spending enough time with your existing and core clientele? There is only so much time in the day-- so best to spend it advancing your business goals and making your clients even more loyal.
Are you offering the widest array of products so that you can sell every and any person that comes into your shop or to your website? How did that work out for most retail companies-- who are going out of business at record paces over the past decade?
Or are you specializing in a more narrow focus that you can dominate and be the true expert in? Are you hiring employees that share that passion? Can customers understand your narrow niche easily -- or is it still confusing as to what your specialty is?
It is much easy to find passionate employees and customers if you have a focus rather than be a me-too company.
We aim for passionate clients and for passionate employees. It has been working out well for us.
Will some "potential customers" get defensive when you tell them nicely that what they are asking for is not what you offer -- as you point them elsewhere? Possibly.
But how many new and existing clients can you better serve by knowing your specialty - and sticking to it?
What is your plan to increase sales to present customers and to grow your business?
Will you be trying to be all things to all people - or to limit your bandwidth to be the best at your niche?