Saturday, 17 October 2009

Better to work with more (but shallow) or work with less (but more intensively)

I have come across an interesting challenge.

Is it better to work with more businesses (in a relatively shallow way) or is it better to work with fewer but in a more intense way (and therefore more long-term benefit)?

When working in certain countries I felt sure that the broad but shallow effect wasn't really that effective; my preference was to work longer and deeper with fewer people - by handing over the tools I would be able see more benefit and by creating 'champions' I would see the legacy of locally-owned and adapted toolkits being used.

But does this theory (better to go narrow and deep rather than broad and shallow) hold in the UK?

Applied to your own business (and specifically to your marketing) is it better to narrow your focus and look for deep knowledge in a narrow field (niche) or is it better to go broader and shallower?

Case Study One: the business coach who only sells to dentists charges four times the going rate because of his narrow focus/niche expertise.

Case Study Two: the 'tart with a heart' business will sell anything to anyone and does make sales but she gets known for what she does and becomes known as a 'jack of all trades'... Gets lots of work but at low rates. "Jump!" the clients say. "How high?" she says...

Do you have the bottle to go narrower and deeper in your niche or is the recession making you more of a tart? How do you think this is perceived in the marketplace?
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