A young entrepreneur opens a restaurant in downtown Toronto. It’s a very small place but a very good location. The owner of the previous establishment spent over 20 years serving breakfast items and coffee, sandwiches and soups for the lunch hour rush and stayed open until only 6pm. They knew their audience and catered to them exclusively.
But when this entrepreneur took over the spot, he thought he fulfilled a lifelong dream of owning a small bistro with an eclectic menu. He excitedly crafted a very sophisticated, dinner-driven menu in hopes of realizing this dream.
But he made a drastic error in judgment. He ignored the needs of his audience. Instead of providing them with a quick coffee and easy to manage lunch menu, he offered them dinner when most of them lived a half hour’s commute away.
Having a dream wasn’t his mistake. His mistake was placing that dream in someone else’s bedroom. He had choices. He could have bought the restaurant, stayed true to its clientele and built the opportunity to realize his bistro in the future, or he could have bought a different spot altogether. In either scenario he succeeds and his dream would not dissipate like the lunchtime lines he destroyed when he took over.
We all have stark choices in front of us. Your business has to understand why your clients keep coming back. Your job is to accommodate them, not surprise them with something they don’t want and don’t need. If you are a web designer, don’t offer to paint murals. If you are a chiropractor, don’t offer shiatsu. And if you have a list of clients who keep coming back, don’t risk losing them by revamping your services in order to appear eclectic or ahead of the curve.
Value to your clients is not measured in your ability to be a constant pioneer; it’s measured through a lack of interest of fixing your business when it isn’t broken. Stay the course, you’ll be glad you did.