Choosing a specialty for your business

how to choose a specialty

What’s your specialty? Do you even have one?

Perhaps you’re a massage therapist that specializes in prenatal massage.
Maybe you’re an accountant that specializes in servicing the health & wellness industry.
Are you an Electrician that specializes in home entertainment room lighting and design

No matter what your industry is, no matter what your business is and how many services or products you offer, you should know if you have a specialty or not. If chosen right, as part of your branding and marketing strategy, a specialty will make your business stronger.

Are you doing it wrong?

There are a lot of people out there who think choosing a specialty means that they are limiting what they offer to clients. Their typical response is to say that they specialize in multiple areas. They’ve got it wrong. You can offer many services and still have a specialty. By definition, a specialty is an area of study, or skill to which someone has devoted much time and effort and in which they are experts. Arguably, if everyone else is generalizing saying they’re great at everything, a-la Jack of all trades, master of none style, you can come in saying you’re great at one thing and sound a lot more credible.

Let me explain with a few examples.

  1. If you asked me what my favourite colour is and I responded by saying “well my favourite is orange and blue and green and yellow” you would probably think I didn’t know what I was talking about right?
  2. Maybe you’ve heard that one before. What if you asked someone if they prefer paper or plastic? And they replied ‘Yes’.

The same concept applies to business discussions. When you claim to be a specialist at everything in many people’s eyes you’ve lost credibility.. Let’s make it even simpler. For example:

  1. What if you were looking for a plumber and on their website they mentioned that they specialize in both residential and commercial. What would you think? How could they be a specialist in the only 2 options available?
  2. What if you needed a new personal trainer and you found one that said that they specialize in helping men and women achieve greater fitness.

So what should you do?

If you already have a clearly defined specialty, you need to start using it in your branding and marketing strategy. It will help open up opportunities that you would not have had if generalizing because people will be able to think more clearly about who can use your services.

If you don’t have a specialty yet, think of the following to help define one

  1. What do you know
    If you are more skilled at a service you offer than most of your competition this can be a route to choose. People trust and love to work with experts.
  2. What do you like
    Maybe you want more work doing what you love most in your job. You’ll be much happier and productive if you’re doing something you enjoy.
  3. What’s in demand
    Specializing in something that’s in demand is another factor you may want to consider. Take a look at the community boards or social media hashtags. What are people looking for? Who are they trying to connect with?

If you can find something in your services list that can check all these boxes then you might just have found your specialty.

Just think about it

Overall, there are lots of positives to choosing a specialty, virtually none of them are bad. Just because you specialize in one area doesn’t mean that you are weak in the others. It just means that you know your specialty area best. Use your specialty as a tool to focus your brand and improve your marketing strategy. This helps provide additional value for your customers and clients.

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