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As you grow your business, it’s natural to look at expanding into more fields. Being a generalist seems to open up opportunities and certain can be a way to become more profitable. For many businesses, though, the goal should be to focus on specialties. Doing so provides many rewards.
When you specialize in business, it’s usually because you are particularly good at something. If you specialize in cast globe valves, you’re probably better with them than anyone else on the market. When you choose to diversify into something else, though, you won’t be going into an area that is supported by those same strengths. Instead of throwing money at something that’s outside of your area of competence, it’s often much more reasonable to double down on those things that you do well. It’s always better to play to your strengths than to risk showing weakness.
When you choose to become a generalist, you quickly open yourself to all kinds of new competition. You’re not just dealing with other generalists, though—you’ll also be competing against everyone who specializes in every other area into which you have expanded. Unless your business can suddenly handle a huge influx of competition, you probably won’t see any immediate profits from expanding into the new type of work. Filling a niche always gives you a better chance to succeed than choosing to compete against companies that have already been established in other spaces. IF you want to succeed, do one thing exceptionally well.
Specializing also allows you the opportunity to grow in a way that you can control. When you’re successful, increasing your presence in your chosen field usually just means scaling up on something that you already understand. You might need more people or new equipment, but you already have the basics down. This allows you to invest your money much more intelligently and gives you a much better chance of avoiding the mistakes made by those who step into new fields. If you want to maximize your money, you need to stick to what you already know.
If you choose to specialize, staying in that lane is often your best bet. It allows you to grow your brand, avoid unnecessary competition, and to build on what you know works. This is one of the safest ways to become more successful and also one of the only ways to stop over-extending yourself. Branching out has significant risks, so sticking with what works is usually the best plan.