I recently finished uploading my venerable CD collection to my ipod so I can play what I want in the car. Proud as I was of being able to carry 8150 songs around in my glove box, I was startled to hear my girlfriend complaining.
“Too much on here” she whined, “I can’t decide what to listen to!” I had to concede that she had a point, and one well worth carrying over into the commercial realm.
Just when is enough enough, and when does too much choice start to repel your customers?
I’ve had contact with a number of businesses recently which are proving that they don’t need to be all things to all men in order to succeed.
One of my clients sells a walking shoe specifically designed to improve posture and back pain, and claims to reduce cellulite. With that one product, she turned over £600k last year.
Then there’s the “one-deal-a-day” websites like http://woot.com which has gathered an almost cult following. There are plenty more jumping on this easy-to-grasp bandwagon, all offering customers’ one simple choice – take it or leave it!
In a world dominated by multi-national conglomerates, the best chance for an SME is to own a large share of a market niche. Here are 5 reasons why you should focus your business on a simple range of offers –
1: Experts get paid more. If your roof leaks, you’d sooner give £2000 to a roofing contractor than a general builder.
2: Simplify marketing. One clear brand message carries a lot more weight, and is cheaper to promote, than a long list of products and services.
3: Improve cashflow. If you manufacture or sell a range of tangible products, customers expect you to stock them all. The fewer you offer, the less space and working capital you need.
4: Competitors become friends. Your niche offering will conflict with fewer of your rivals, so they can recommend you to customers to compliment their business.
5: Get more referrals. If there are not many of you in your field, customers will be much more likely to pass you around to anyone else they meet who needs you.
As for my ipod; I’m going to get a smaller version and download a few hours of my favourites – any more is just too much!
Jon Cooper is the founder of JupiterDawn.com business coaching, and an Accredited Business Adviser with the IBD group. Exclusive to BLOG READERS – email firstname.lastname@example.org for a free one-hour business mentoring session with Jon, worth £175.