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Diversify or Die: The Power of Spreading Your Business Eggs

As a small business owner, it's tempting to pour all your energy and resources into one basket, especially when you've found a strategy that seems to be working. But here's a piece of advice from the school of hard knocks – resist the urge to gather all your eggs in a single basket. Diversification isn't just a safety net; it's a key strategy for long-term growth and resilience.

I'm no exception to that rule. Nicholson & Co has been around (albeit now with a new name), for a little over 8 years. There's been ups, downs, and everything inbetween.

I had all my eggs in one basket, once. And I got burned. So will you.

I diversified, both with my current business, and then almost insanely went completely left field and got into Real Estate in 2021/22, then opened my own real estate business in 2023. Why? ------ Diversification.

The allure of a singular focus

In the early days of my consulting business, I fell into the trap of hyper-focus. One major client brought in the bulk of my revenue, and for a while, everything seemed rosy. However, that rosy glow quickly turned into a glaring warning sign.

What was quickly won, was almost as quickly lost. The eggs? Well there was none. I was left holding the basket.

The risk of over-reliance

Having all your eggs in one basket is like walking a tightrope without a safety net. If that one major client decides to take their business elsewhere or if the market shifts unexpectedly, your entire business could be left teetering on the edge.

A friend, a fellow small business owner, shared their cautionary tale. They specialized in a niche market, securing a lucrative partnership that initially felt like hitting the jackpot. But when that partnership soured, their entire business suffered a significant blow. That painful experience taught them a valuable lesson – diversification isn't just an option; it's a necessity.

The power of diversification

1. Mitigating Risks

Diversifying your client base, product offerings, or revenue streams acts as a risk management strategy. If one area experiences a downturn, others may pick up the slack, preventing a catastrophic impact on your overall business.

2. Adapting to market changes

Markets are dynamic and subject to change. What's trending today may be obsolete tomorrow. Diversification allows your business to adapt to market shifts and capitalize on emerging opportunities.

3. Cultivating Stability

Think of diversification as a stability blanket for your business. It provides a more stable and predictable income, offering a cushion during turbulent times.

How to diversify smartly

1. Explore new markets

Identify untapped markets or segments related to your business. By expanding your reach, you not only open new revenue streams but also reduce dependency on a single market.

2. Expand product or service offerings

Consider broadening your product or service offerings. This not only attracts a wider customer base but also enhances customer retention by providing a comprehensive solution.

3. Build Strategic Partnerships

Collaborate with other businesses to create mutually beneficial partnerships. These partnerships can open doors to new opportunities, clients, and markets.

So, embrace that different path...

In the world of small business, diversity is not just a buzzword; it's a survival strategy. As tempting as it may be to bask in the glow of a single success, remember that the road to sustainable growth is paved with diversification.

My journey taught me that having multiple baskets doesn't dilute your focus; it enhances your resilience. So, fellow small business owners, let's celebrate the diversity that fuels our growth and ensures that our businesses don't just survive but thrive.