Specialising has taken my business to the next level. My goal is to have a small base of exceptional clients. This year I’ve made some significant business decisions to achieve it. The last 10 years I’ve acquired thousands of clients. I can’t provide that many people with a high level of service and I don’t want to employ people and run a big business. I chose to transfer 90% of my client base to a broker who had the systems in place to look after them far better than I could. The remaining 10% of the list are high value clients who expect a high level of service.
Specialising is easier said than done and it can take time (it’s taken me 10 years!). There are two key areas you need to look at to help you do it.
Hone your skills
I specialise in life and business insurance. I can do car, content and investments but I don’t want to do everything. I want to be the best insurance broker in New Zealand and I don’t believe I can be the best if I’m trying to be the best at everything.
It’s natural when you start out in business to take on as much work as you can, no matter how diverse it is. The mantra ‘say yes now and figure out how to do it later’ is a common one. However, once you’re established you’ve got choices. You can keep saying yes to every piece of work that walks through the door or you can stick to what you’re good at and make a point of mastering it. That way you’ll get a reputation for being good at that specific skill and people will come to you because of it.
Focus on one type of client
Look at your client list. Identify the clients who pay you well, the ones you enjoy working with. Then make it your mission to get more of them. By honing your offering you’ll probably also lose a load of clients whose needs don’t align with yours. For example, I focus my business on serving clientele with a high net worth and my customer base is reflective of that.
Think about specialising like this – would you rather do less work and be paid more because you’re the King of solving one specific problem, or do more work for less because you’re the Jack of all trades?
Mike Broadbent is the director of Evergreen Life www.evergreenlife.nz.
Read more of Mike’s columns here.