I was recently introduced to Larry Myler, a Forbes contributor, who was writing an article on niche businesses. He was curious about my business which offers on hold messaging and on hold music.
Unlike full service advertising agencies, Mind The Gap primarily focuses on hold applications. Our service seeks to maximize the marketing potential of a company’s most captive and targeted audience, their customers. Many businesses overlook this potential. But it doesn’t take much to convince a business owner or marketing director of its value.
So I’ve been fortunate to carve out this niche and achieve a competitive advantage over others who are more diversified. Larry and I discuss this further in his Forbes article but I’d like to give you a little history on how I got here.
I Want To Sell You Everything!
During my early years in business, I always felt this necessity to offer my customers everything. At the time, my company CCI was in the wireless industry. Specifically, we sold pagers (remember beepers?), cellular phones (who calls them that anymore) and two way radios which included repeaters and in house paging systems.
Now even though it appears that they’re all interrelated, each product line was quite varied and unique regarding their features, accessories and styles. It was quite a challenge to keep up with all the new technologies in the wireless industry.
But I had this obsession with offering customers whatever they needed. Being diversified wasn’t an option. It was a business necessity in my opinion.
To make matters worse, I also built a professional recording studio, Great Egg Studio. It helped that I was a musician and recording artist but I most certainly was stretching myself quite thin. Not only did I have the burden of marketing the facility but also had to maintain it.
By my late 20’s, I was up to my ears in alligators. I simply couldn’t keep up. In addition, I didn’t really offer any service with a competitive advantage, even with employees.
But those were the days! I felt I was invincible, impregnable and indomitable. In reality, I was in my roaring 20’s, naïve and basically “a businessman on acid!”
I’ve Finally Grown Up!
Even though I was fortunate to have been successful with CCI, the overwhelming inefficiencies due to over diversification came at a steep cost to the business and myself. Now 25 years later and a bit wiser, I’ve learned to identify a niche and concentrate my efforts on excelling at a specific service, on hold messaging and on hold music, to achieve a high degree of operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.