A number of years ago, a friend who ran an antique business decided to specialize in a particular line of authentic dinnerware that was very popular and difficult to locate. With access to a substantial catalog of products, she was able to advertise a large inventory of hard-to-find items for would-be collectors. Her results taught me a big lesson.
What I learned from her business decision was that narrowing services and products actually increases, not decreases, one’s reach. I had always thought that specialization would limit one’s market, but as I learned from subsequent research and other people’s success stories – the opposite is true. By choosing specialization over diversification, a business actually gets to claim a bigger piece of the pie.
Let’s look at the field of bodywork, as an example.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2009 there were 150,000 working massage therapists in the United States. That’s a lot of practitioners vying for the same clients and dollars. Successful massage therapists have learned that in order to thrive they must stand out in some way.
Some folks – like yours truly – have chosen to put their passion into action, and concentrate their education, marketing and services in one or two areas. For me, it’s reflexology and aromatherapy (a perfect marriage, by the way).
The benefits and advantages to having a specialty are:
1. You become – and become known as – an expert in your field. By specializing in reflexology, I have become the “go-to” person in my part of the world. When people think reflexology, they think of me. People travel significant distances to receive sessions and study with me.
2. There’s no waste of money or time in attending trainings that “might” interest you or benefit your work, or just to earn your required continuing education credits. You know where you interest lies and can focus all your resources on your area of interest.
3. Your clients benefit. Because your expertise and training is centered on one specific approach, you are able to offer more effective, individualized sessions. Results will soar; word-of-mouth will grow your clientele.
4. Following your passion guarantees that you will never lose interest in your career, never “burn out”. The possibilities to expand your knowledge and services are limitless.
5. Your specialty’s professional association will include only like-minded individuals who share your enthusiasam, challenges and clinical experiences.
6. Less competition.
I urge you to make 2012 the year that you follow your passion; uncover the niche that you can own; serve more people more; create the financial success you deserve.
If reflexology is the discipline that’s been calling you, then fulfill your dream now. Allow yourself to stand out in the crowd!