How To Specialize When The Demand Is Everywhere?

I was having this great discussion with an african friend of mine, and it was based around this book from Alan Dib called ‘The 1-Page Marketing Plan’. I started with a simple question and it went like this:

Me: ‘You know what? I don’t understand, since I started this agency 3 years ago, I’ve touched every field: health, construction, education, food, coaching, even wedding! I could barely reject these projects by saying ‘hey i’m a specialist in that _____ field’…what if I wanted more specialisation in my business?’

Friend: ‘I think that, when you are in the communication business, you shouldn’t specialise! Especially when the market is very open like this: in Cameroon (and that’s the case for most african countries), the government IS the biggest client, and there are very few private businesses. The government which got every needs you can imagine. They just need to free up some cash in their budget for the corruption part. That’s it. Oh, the government is also the slowest buyer/payer. Why should they specialise?’

‘Let’s put it this way, if you have a heart disease will you go see a doctor or heart surgeon?’

‘You go check the doctor first, who’ll lead you to the surgeon…but if there are no doctors you’ll never know about your heart condition.’

‘You got a point, but you know the first signs of a heart problem, so no need for doctors basically when you got the specialist’s number.’

‘In most cases, you die before you get to see the specialist…generalists don’t exist, you should be one of them.’

I think this is the problem we have in African emerging countries, you’ll meet business owners who are running multiple businesses in one, who want/need multiple solutions to solve their problems. The consumers are not really at the heart of their strategy, money is…by any means. How not to be a jack of all trades to survive in such an unstable business environment?

Image copyrights Winston Scully


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