What’s your back up plan?

Blogs Lucas Deal June 15, 2013

That’s one of greatest aspects of specialization: you can do it with any part of your organization.

For example, say one of your locations is thriving selling trailer components and is becoming a go-to distributor for one of your largest fleet customers. Your success with this customer allows you to slowly expand your product offering, and doing that expands your sales with that customer and your remaining customer base.

Then, during a conversation with that fleet manager, you’re informed the fleet has expanded its business with your location because of changes its previous distributor made to its rates and product offering. It needs a full-time distributor and wants to know if you’re up to the challenge.

This is the exact scenario that makes specialization so enticing — it doesn’t just provide a chance to increase sales, it also provides the opportunity to increase sales relationships.

It allows you to target a soft spot in the market and create a niche.

When sales are down, having a niche can come in handy.

There are some components customers will get anywhere. Every distributor or service provider has them and they are all offered the same way.

But if you have a niche — if there’s one thing you provide better than everyone else — customers will show you loyalty. Customers like having an expert to call.

Ultimately, that’s what specialization is all about. It’s about creating a consistent aspect of your business in an inconsistent market.

It’s about investing in your business and creating a cash flow you can rely on.

Tightening the belt when things get tough can be a good short-term solution, but it can only be done so many times. Eventually you’ve got to fight back.

Lucas Deal is the editor of Truck Parts & Service and Successful Dealer. He can be reached at lucasdeal@randallreilly.com.

You can follow me on twitter at @lddeal85

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