Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Diversification Don'ts

Something that I find interesting is the idea that people should diversify their businesses in order to prevent stagnation. It's an idea that has some merit, but I think that people take it the wrong way.

Diversifying doesn't mean that you should start doing things that you have no skills in. That basically results in the one-stop wedding shops, where someone promises to do your invitations, flowers, catering, cake and DJ duties too. That kind of situation usually results in mediocre work in one or more categories because you just can't spread yourself that thin.

That makes you look bad, and it won't work to build confidence in your services.

One excellent example of bad diversification is this Phillip Michael Thomas gem from the '80's. Now, I'll be the first to say that PMT might not be the best actor in the world, but I used to watch Miami Vice like everyone else, and he was okay. Not so for this foray into the world of music, however.

If PMT had decided to diversify into doing a play, or voiceovers for animation, or movies, that would make sense. It's the curse of the bloated ego that so many so-called "actors" think that because they have a job acting, they should also sing. That's a diversification fail.

If you don't believe me, watch the video. And make sure to check out the neck action at 40 seconds.

So if you want to diversify, make sure that you have the skills necessary in the area that you want to add to your repertoire. Make it relatable to what you already do. That makes sense in the way that a third eye in your forehead doesn't.

 Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com


Jenniffer said...

I may be showing my age here, but didn't Don Johnson suffer a similar fate? At least his song was... OK. :)

Kara said...

Oh, you're right...Hmmm, I have to go look that up. I seem to remember that his song was more popluar but I don't remember a video for it.

Jayne said...

Very good advice. I think a lot of people in business do try to diversify too much which does indeed result in mediocre work. I doubt that will be a problem for you. You cakes are gorgeous :)

Kara said...

Why thank you! I've diversified a little by having an etsy shop, but that's definitely within the realm of what I normally do. No music videos here.