DIVERSIFICATION IN SMALL BUSINESS: WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO TRY NEW THINGS May 2, 2023 | Business Tips | hiring , inspection industry , small business , business growth , networking , entrpreneur By Chris Bates, Vice President of Sales & Development When entering into a new industry or starting a small business, sometimes it can take time to find your footing. It’s important to learn the business, establish relationships in your area, and refine your service quality, but sometimes breaking through can still be difficult. With that said, one of the most frequent mistakes business owners make when they’re slow is avoiding trying new things. Opportunities frequently come knocking at the door, but a fear of losing what little market share they have, or concerns related to their ability to recoup from an unsuccessful investment too often lead to inaction. One of the biggest benefits of owning a franchise is access to a network of industry professionals who are plugged into the latest trends, technology, and business strategies that can help you pull ahead of your competition. Additional add-on services and opportunities to access new leads come up every day. The only way to guarantee that things stay slow in your business is to refuse these new opportunities. If you find yourself stagnating in your business, then the time is right to take action. Whether you’re busy and looking to expand or you want to ensure longevity in your business, the time is now to diversify. What is a Diversification Strategy? The term “Diversification Strategy” is more commonly associated with larger businesses or enterprises looking to expand on their market share internationally or through launching a new product. With that said, small business owners would be remiss if they chose to ignore the benefits that come with developing their own diversification strategy. Diversification strategies for small business refers to any strategy that involves trying something new with the goal of either accessing a new market or expanding on their existing products. The best diversification strategies build upon existing services or products rather than distract from already successful ventures. Expanding on an existing business is a great way to see progress. Every small business owner wants to see tangible progress in their business, of course, but it can be tough to determine the best way to take a step forward. Diversification is risky and can result in a loss of overall capital when a service or strategy is untested. It’s key to determine the best time to pursue diversification. When is the Best Time to Diversify? There are a few instances that indicate the time is right to diversify a small business. When operating in a market that is particularly saturated, entrepreneurs should look at a diversification strategy in order to grow or risk stagnation. Investing in an expansion into nearby regions or areas where your services aren’t as available is always a good idea if you have the ability to meet that market need. As an inspector, this can mean finding new ways to establish relationships with a new office, or unaccessed community. This can also mean coordinating with a franchisor to actually expand upon your existing territory. Additionally, when a new service that adds value to your business becomes available, business owners that incorporate that service into their business model have the opportunity to further differentiate themselves from their competition. To put it simply, the best time to diversify is always. The more a business diversifies, the less a failed venture will damage their business. Entrepreneurs should look to deeply investigate any new service or product before adding it into their business, but turning down opportunities to elevate their business is not the best path to success. How Should I Diversify as a Property Inspector? According to a recent study from the home repair estimate software provider RepairPricer , home inspectors are benefiting greatly from offering additional services on top of their standard home inspections. By offering radon testing, mold testing, termite or pest inspections, and sewer scopes as additional services, home inspectors can establish themselves as a one-stop shop in the eyes of their agents and clients. Agents that know one home inspector offers everything that they need will prefer them over needing to coordinate with multiple people’s schedules. Another way to look at this is that a home inspector optimizes the value of their time by offering additional services. Time in the truck, commuting between jobs is time lost that could have been spent marketing or performing another job. To put it simply, a home inspector can benefit the most from performing as many services as possible at a single location. Another great way to grow that is related to “diversification” is through expanding your targeted territory footprint, or through hiring . If you’re seeing success in your defined service territory, expansion through additional territory purchase is a great way to expand your reach into new communities. Any opportunity to put yourself and your business in front of new people is an opportunity to access an untapped market. Find opportunities to meet new people, deliver presentations, and participate in new events! Your business will benefit from a willingness to try new things and from making wise decisions based on those new experiences. How Do I Figure Out What Works? There are times that diversification strategies can feel like guess work, but this doesn’t need to be the case. Whenever possible, link up with other successful professionals in your industry and learn what has worked from them (and what hasn’t worked). Although different situations and regions ensure that businesses will never have an identical path towards success, the best resource for new advances in the industry will always be other professionals in the industry. To find success in diversifying your business, meet other industry professionals, research new services and technologies, and most importantly: don’t be afraid to try new things. The best way to give your business longevity and adaptability is to expand your options and services. If you’re interested in making your business last, maybe today is the day you should ask yourself, “Can I afford not to diversify?” National Property Inspections is a brand built on 35 years of experience and success. To learn more about how you can benefit from franchising with NPI and joining a national network of property inspection experts, get in touch with our recruitment team today! About the Author Chris Bates, Vice President of Sales & Development Chris works with national and regional companies within the NPI National Accounts department. With account coordination, he refers inspections to our franchisees and tracks the progress and completion of assignments to our client's satisfaction. Additionally, he applies his training and field experience by providing technical support services to franchisees as needed.