If you are like many business people, your days are filled with details, challenges, complexities, surprises and routines. The best calls, of course, arise from former or current clients who wish you to return for more, or from people you know asking for your advice in preparation for some upcoming work, and they aren’t about to shop you around to three or a dozen competitors. This is the stuff of a successful brand. You’ve earned clients’ trust through your company’s performance, and now have escaped the dog-eat-dog world of “low bid wins the job” — when the low bid turns out to be so low that you can’t make enough money to survive.
Sometimes things go wrong and the macro-world changes. In some places, once successful mid-sized contractors are struggling. Their old private sector clients aren’t buying, and the public stuff, well, has turned into a zoo as competitors battle each other for smaller and smaller margins. This leads you to a place you don’t want to be: One of decline and defeat.
The best solution to the problem: Validating expertise within a specialized area, to the extent that potential clients know you will be able to (a) solve the challenging problems others can’t solve and (b) you will probably be able to save them money through your knowledge and efficiency even if your quoted price is higher. This is the story of the niche or focused expertise.
Then, there is the need for change. Adapting, innovating and applying new technologies to your business can reduce costs, improve deliverabiities, and — depending on the situation — provide you with that expertise reputation.
As you read this, I’m sure you are saying: “But how can this stuff solve my problems today?” To answer, I encourage you to look to your history, your successes, and that sweet spot combining your real interests, your unique or specialized talents, and your market’s needs. When you do, you’ll discover you’ve found the marketing puzzle solution.