Every owner wants their business to be special. But how can you achieve this? There are two proven ways.
One product. One Service.
The first step is to focus. By specializing it allows you to concentrate on delivering your one product or service better than everyone else. It enables you to hire (or train) specialists in your field, improving the quality of your work, which leads to happier customers. And satisfied customers keep coming back and refer their friends.
That’s why specialists often grow faster even when they are spending less on marketing, leading to better profit margins and, ultimately, a more valuable company. Specializing in a specific product or service has tremendous benefits. But this is when the fly lands in the ointment. What if your customers expect you to deliver a range of offerings?
That’s when the second form of specialization can help: focusing on a specific industry.
Become an Industry expert.
Specializing in a specific industry confers several benefits. First, offering your products or services to one industry allows you to learn the language spoken in that sector. Every industry and profession has a unique language, and being able to speak it fluently can benefit your company immensely.
Knowing how your industry talks will tell your customers that you are experienced, knowledgeable, and able to navigate the space. You become trusted.
Furthermore, focusing on one sector ensures you stay up to date with industry trends, which will result in being able to identify new opportunities for your customers sooner than a competitor who may be serving multiple industries. You don’t want to be a jack-of-all-trades, and master of none.
Most importantly, specializing in one industry allows your employees to become experts in a sector. You may be an expert in an industry, but chances are, your team are not (particularly when you first hire them). Focusing on a sector accelerates how quickly your staff can become fluent in your industry’s lexicon, which allows you to delegate customer relationship management faster and more successfully.
Specializing in an Industry led to a 20x increase in revenue.
Here’s an example of a business that succeeded by specializing.
The UK-based founder Raman Sehgal, started a small marketing agency called ramarketing in 2009. By 2015 the business had grown to around £400,000 in revenue. But there was a big problem. The company was losing customers as fast as they were winning new ones.
Frustrated with his company’s lack of progress, Sehgal decided to do a complete analysis of his business. He found that ramarketing’s most valuable customers (low maintenance, sticky, high gross margin) were in the pharmaceutical industry. Sehgal decided to pivot his business to solely serve clients in the pharmaceutical supply chain.
Serving one industry created a sequence of positive events for Sehgal. Becoming an industry specialist allowed ramarketing to stay up to date with industry trends, learn the language, and ultimately improve the quality of their work. An increase in customer satisfaction led to more referrals and a strong reputation in the sector.
His employees began to understand the intricacies of the industry. In the pharmaceutical space, there are many rules and laws to adhere to. Understanding the regulations allowed Sehgal’s employees to better serve their customers.
Subsequently, the business boomed. Sehgal’s once stagnant marketing agency grew from £400,000 turnover in 2015, to over £8 million by 2022, which is when Sehgal accepted an acquisition offer from NorthEdge Capital of more than 10x EBITDA.
Sehgal’s bold decision to specialize in the pharmaceutical industry led to a 20x increase in revenue and, ultimately, a lucrative exit.
Narrowing your product or service line is the most common way to increase your company’s value, while specializing in one industry carries many of the same benefits. It pays to simplify. It pays to become an expert.