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Specialization or Diversification?

Carrying on any type of business comes with a certain amount of risk depending on the nature of that business. But no matter how secure your business looks and how stable your market sounds, the risk is there.

For this reason you might have heard a lot of business coaches, or from your instructors in the business school, that you need to diversify your business and never to “put all your eggs in the same basket”.

Sounds wise, no doubt. But it also means a lot of distraction if you are going to do business in 3 or more different markets. In order to succeed in any business you need to focus.

How would you focus and diversify your business at the same time?

This is a controversial dilemma, but I’ll try to put my own experience in this article. If I were to go back in time this is how I would do it:

First I’ll study the market and pick up 3-5 business models in totally different markets. Then I’d put a business plan for myself so that I get to start each business at a certain time in the near future. Based on information interviews with other business owners in each one of these models I would have put a time table for starting each of project once the previous one has gained momentum as planned.

My goal would be to get each project to be able to support my business as a stand alone project (as if the others don’t exist). Then I would pick the one I have more passion for and take to the next level.

This way I would have achieved the diversification to reduce my risk focusing on each project at a time, and specialized when appropriate in the one field that I would like to end my career in.

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