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BusinessVariety or speciality: The pros of each business approach

Variety or speciality: The pros of each business approach

When it comes to business strategies, you are going to find a dozen opinions on both sides of any single point.

Debates over mass production versus artisanal products or hands-on management versus delegation are common. One of those debates is whether to provide a variety of products and services or to zero in on one market.

To clear up that debate a little, here’s a summary of the key advantages for both sides.

Broad approach

Most commonly associated with things like supermarkets and e-commerce, the idea here is to cover as many customer needs as possible in one place.

The American giants Walmart and Amazon are the epitome of this but it’s also common in media like streaming services and online casinos.

If you look at the typical range of casino games available at major sites, you can see that having multiple options under one banner works well for that industry. For example, online roulette games at Betfair include multiple forms of live-streamed games and users are one click away from a whole range of other options like slots, blackjack, and live game shows.

The key advantage of selling ‘broad’ is that you will appeal to a larger number of customers and you get the bonus of ‘while I’m here’ shopping.

This is the idea that customers are more likely to choose somewhere to shop that lets them cross off several tasks at the same time and may also be inclined to make extra purchases when they’re already there. Walmart has based its entire business philosophy on the concept, selling everything from car tyres to frozen food.

Narrow approach

This is both the old approach to business as well as the new one. Before the advent of mass production, it was very common to have companies with a single product in mind.

Now, perhaps in response to ‘megastores’, many people are gravitating back to these kinds of businesses which often come with the label of artisanal products. While it most commonly applies to foodstuffs like coffee or pastries, it can be expanded to other products like luggage or furniture.

Reputation, quality, and originality are what consumers seek from this approach. Look at the small company Ariel based in Somerset. They make small, super-powered cars that resemble go-karts and that is the only thing they do. As such, they’ve been able to establish their brand in that niche market and now have global recognition.

Which one works best?

There’s no clear way to say that either approach is better than the other. It comes down to your own business target and there’s nothing to say you can’t find a compromise between both.

The wide array of specialist products from Yamaha is a testament to that by itself, and in general, it’s better to think of it as being more on a scale than just the two extremes.

If you are looking into starting a business or perhaps just looking for a different direction, broad or narrow will be a critical factor to consider. Remember to have a clear business goal in mind, and that should guide you down one path or the other.

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