There was a time when people liked to go to a generalist and have that person provide a range of services rather than find someone special for each phase of an operation. The general practice physician who made house calls and could diagnose and treat anything we had gave way to the specialists who have a much more limited scope of expertise and are experts in their field.
In sports, a player who can handle several different positions might be valuable to his or her team, but they likely will never excel at a single position because they don’t get to concentrate on it and play it on a consistent basis.
In contracting, remodeling, design, evaluation, or handyman services, being a “jack-of-all-trades” may seem like a good idea in that we can market ourselves as a little bit of something for everyone. We want people to believe that there’s almost nothing in remodeling or aging in place solutions that we can’t implement, conquer, offer, or suggest.
While that might even be true, we don’t want to use this as a marketing approach. Instead, we want people to recognize our abilities and talents in working with certain areas of the home or in dealing with particular types of issues or concerns. We want them to reach out and contact us when their needs align with our business model and what we have chosen to provide.
Because this is an age of specialization rather than that of generalists, we need to narrow our focus in geography, job scope, price point, needs of the client, type of property, and age of the structure. We can’t really be as good serving the entire breadth of a market as we can in being more concentrated.
We might be able to address a broad range of the marketplace and provide a wide scope of services, but just like the utility or multi-position ballplayer who doesn’t get a chance to become really expert in at a single position or skill, we want to focus our efforts as well.
In deciding to work with a certain age or architectural style of home, we can become an expert in building styles and methods that were used in the original construction plus common solutions to improve deficiencies, such as wiring, amperage, appliances, doorways, hallways, cabinetry, ceiling heights, fixtures, ventilation, windows, lighting, entrances, porches and landings, stairs, and more.
By choosing certain aspects of the home to excel at renovating or constructing, we can be reasonably confident that we are aware of techniques for creating accessibility, safety, comfort, and convenience in kitchens, baths, bedrooms, or other areas of the home where we choose to focus.
Price range for the job is an area that many people shy away from addressing – preferring to do whatever jobs come their way or avoiding discussing price or budget until the job is well along toward being finalized. Knowing what is comfortable and profitable for us is a much stronger way of presenting ourselves to potential clients and customers.
Taking the general types of services we want to provide, the price point or budget that we prefer or that is comfortable for us, the general age of the homes we want to work on, and the issues we want to address for our clients and customers, we can begin determining what market area we want to pursue and where we want to perform our services. This can be a relatively compact area such as a neighborhood, or it can be a series of neighborhoods or an area. It should not require us to spend a tremendous amount of driving time driving calling on new clients or performing the work already sold.
Then we can concentrate on becoming a specialist for serving the needs of this market area that we have defined and in knowing all we can about that area. This will help us to formulate typical solutions (in advance) that we might recommend for general aging in place and safety renovations that apply to the type and age of the structure. Also, we can become more sensitive as to how we might approach specific improvements in the homes where the work might be performed.
In short, becoming an expert in a specific market area and go-to resource for the type of home, physical needs or age of the client, referring professionals we want to present ourselves to as an authority, and the strategic partners we want to attract and add to our team will help us serve our clientele much more effectively.