It’s easy to get tricked into thinking that the more types of services or products that you provide your customers the better off financially you will be. The more products that you offer your existing client base the more opportunities for making a sale, yes. But we believe that there are some major pitfalls you need to be aware of.
First of all, take this scenario, you are a leading accounting firm who has developed an established client base, you have decided to diversify into business advisory services. If your current customers perceive your brand as meaning “Accounting” for example, what are you telling them if you start up aspects of your businesses such as Human Resources or Marketing?
At a very basic level your organization may be able to sustain these associated services in terms of the resources you have available and through leveraging of intellect across professions. However, I would be doubtful if you could perceptually develop these functions professionally to become perceived as the leader in each field. Simply because the consumer doesn’t see you as a professional “Human Resources Company” or “Marketing” company. You also leave yourself more open to innovative competitors who are selfish enough to sacrifice and specialize in one area. Imagine fighting for the perceptual mind space of a variety of professional services against specialist and focused competitors.
If your organization has a very large proportion of the market and that markets level of sophistication does not demand advanced levels of expertise in these associated services then it may be advisable to offer rudimentary levels of support services in order to compete with your competitors but be prepared to source outside relationships and more specialist advice. At the end of the day, stay true to who you are. Do not try and be everything to everyone. Your business has got where it is today by doing very specific things and doing those things well. Your long term customers respect you for this. Don’t give your customers an opportunity to be confused about what you do and don’t do well. Focus.