One of the nuggets of wisdom that I have received over the years is about how DropCap Media needs to get into offering more and more services, and not just focus on delivering great content and planning effective social media solutions. There have been helpful indications about the kind of stuff we can get into, search engine optimisation, for instance. My partner, Sreedevi, and I have always fervently maintained the opposite: that we need to work within the scope of what we excel at. This does not, as often argued, limit our potential to learn and grow because we are always on the learning curve.
No project that we undertake, whether it is crafting a trade journal or managing social media profiles for clients in industries as varied as bespoke fashion and education, would turn out as well as it does if it were not for our commitment to learning and the constant push to innovate. We believe that focusing on our niche has given us the ability to further hone our skills to perfection, expand our knowledge and expertise in writing, blogging and social media, and related industries. Of course, at times just writing and strategising isn’t enough; sometimes our clients are so happy with our work that they often entrust a whole package to us, with elements of design and technology that we are yet to become experts at.
While our team has learnt the basic skills needed to handle such projects, we have tied up with reliable experts in the fields of design, web and app development, and printing to ensure that we only deliver the best. Here too, inevitably, we learn a lot through interactions with our technical partners, and our work as well as our expertise benefits immensely from these interactions. Now, going through this article on LinkedIn Pulse by LinkedIn Influencer Tim Williams, we feel vindicated. Williams’s post title, Your Firm Is Defined By the Clients and Services You Don’t Have, is intriguing and the article goes on to suggest and elaborate through examples that being the best in your niche, and creating and selling a specialised service that is right for a particular kind of customer does more for a professional services firm than to pander (often wildly) to everybody’s tastes and dilute the nature of your services.
In his opening lines, Williams says “What makes a great restaurant? The things that are not on the menu. The world’s most mediocre restaurants famously have virtually everything on their menus, making them average at everything and excellent at nothing.” He also elaborates on the power of ‘no': “In professional services, this translates to deciding which services not to offer. It means deciding which categories you won’t represent and which prospects you won’t chase. No firm is too far down the diversification path to mend its ways.” He suggests that each firm ask itself two questions:
1. If we offered only one type of service, what would it be?
2. If we served only one type of client, what would it be?
The idea is not to narrow down the focus to a “single client or service. Rather it’s to help you think through what you’re really good at and most passionate about. The answer isn’t as obvious as it seems. For a fast food restaurant, their “one thing” was not hamburgers but rather French fries.”
Aha… let’s all find our French fries!