I've noticed an alarming trend: small business owners offering too many different services. They are trying to be all things to all people… and the results can be disastrous.

This issue has come up a lot lately with my private coaching clients, during new client Opportunity Calls, and even in conversations at networking and speaking events.

What finally sent me over the edge, however, is a recent email I received from an audio transcription company that I’ve done business with for years. The company does a decent enough job transcribing my audio recordings, and its prices are reasonable.

But then last week I received a message informing me that the company now offers graphic design services.

WHAT!!?? Graphic design services… from an audio transcription company???

Look, I know everyone is tired of hearing advice like "get rich with a niche." The expression is so overused that it doesn't mean anything to anyone anymore. I get it.

BUT you do have to be FOCUSED in your business. When you're not focused, you make things much harder for yourself, and you can kill your business.

Here’s why…

It makes your marketing complicated.
Marketing is tricky enough. But when you offer up the world, who’s your target market? What do you say to them? Where and when do you promote yourself? If you're going in circles with your marketing copy, your brand, your pricing or your packaging — or if you can’t clearly describe what you do in one succinct sentence — those are clear signs you are offering too many different things.
It gets extraordinarily expensive to do your marketing.
When you offer all sorts of different services, it’s not only more complicated to do your marketing — it costs a lot more too. And I’m not just talking hard costs – like participating in multiple expos and networking groups or advertising in different places. I’m also talking about the opportunity cost that comes with the added time you have to invest to market and sell a wide variety of services.
It confuses the heck out of your potential clients.
You’ve probably heard experts say that a confused mind doesn’t buy. Not only is that true, but even worse, if people aren’t clear on what your “thing” is, then there’s little chance you will come to mind when your ideal client thinks, “Wow. I really need to hire an expert in ________.” If you don’t have a consistent stream of your ideal clients seeking you out, one of the first things you should ask yourself is: Am I making it clear what my “offer” is?
It de-values your higher-priced offerings.
Can you imagine walking into a bargain salon to get a $15 hair cut and the stylist tries to sell you a $475 deluxe spa package? …or a $25-per-hour social media assistant trying to upsell you into a $12,000-a-year mastermind group?Whether it’s fair or not, we expect to pay more for quality and expertise. So when someone we see as a high-paid expert turns around and offers low-priced, low-valued services, it cheapens everything else that they offer. And when someone we see as providing a low-cost commodity tries to break into a “higher league” we often struggle to see him or her in that new light.
You don't have time to become GREAT at any one thing.
If you want to be a high-paid expert that sells high-priced services, then you need to be on the cutting edge of what’s happening in your industry or profession. But how can you be an expert in everything… especially when you have a business to run? The answer is simple: You can’t! And you’re cutting you and your clients short when you try.
If any of this resonates with you then it’s time to narrow down what you’re offering in your business. And the answer as to “which one” (or two) services to choose is often right in front of you. It’s the thing that’s bringing home the real bacon.

Author's Bio: 

Known as The Corporate Agent, Angelique Rewers, ABC, APR, teaches micro business owners and solopreneurs around the world how to grow their small business by working with Big Business. Get her FREE CD and articles at www.TheCorporateAgent.com.