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Generalization vs Specialization: A Logical Approach

Imagine you just quit your job to work for yourself. Now, you have the stressful task of deciding between generalization vs. specialization for your business.

Generalization vs Specialization: A Logical Approach

Both generalists and specialists have unique advantages. However, you should consider which option is right for you.

Keep reading to learn if you should be a generalist or a specialist.

Why Be a Generalist

When starting or shifting your business, being a generalist can be appealing.

You don’t have to commit to just doing one thing, so you can test what works and what doesn’t. While it can be hard to be an expert at everything you do, being able to do multiple things can bring you more work. Then, you can more easily grow your business.

Whether you want to run a small business or grow your company, you should consider the benefits of being a generalist.

Do More Things

When you can do multiple things, you can help multiple people. You don’t have to limit yourself to one product or service, so you can build a bigger client base as you start.

Perhaps you’re interested in digital marketing, so you start a digital marketing firm. Some companies in that field focus on one part of marketing, such as social media management.

Generalists work from the bottom up to combine lower-level functions into one business. That gives you access to more work and more functions within your company.

You don’t have to commit to just one area, and you can narrow your focus later. That way, you can focus on things you’re good at and what you like.

Get Started Easily

Whether you’re a data scientist or work in another field, you can start working more easily when you’re a generalist. For example, a general data scientist can work with all types of data, including higher-level functions and lower-level functions within a dataset.

But a data scientist who specializes in machine learning would need to focus on data as it relates to that. Now, a specialist can still get started in the business, but it will take a lot longer to build up the same client base as a generalist.

If you want to start working more, you should consider generalizing. You can still have the main specialty, such as machine learning. However, if you can work with other types of data, you may be able to get more clients in less time.

Financial Security

As a generalist, your business can also have more financial security through tough economic times. If one of your services or products isn’t selling, you can pivot your business accordingly.

Consider two businesses: one that’s a digital marketing company and another that focuses on Facebook ads.

The general digital marketing company will have something to fall back on if Facebook ever loses popularity. They could focus on other services, like content creation or email marketing.

However, the Facebook ad company would need to completely shift its business model. The company would need to learn about other platforms to expand the business.

You can still focus on your strengths, but perhaps you add other services to compliment your current offers.

Why Be a Specialist

While being a generalist can be easier at the beginning, there are some benefits to being a specialist. Not only can you start with higher-level functions and more specific services, but you don’t have to be a jack of all trades.

If you specialize in one thing, you can focus on that. Then, you can serve clients and customers who need exactly what you offer.

You don’t have to work with people who aren’t the best fit for your business. Consider a few advantages of being a specialist instead of a generalist.

Be an Expert

As a specialist, you can become an expert in your industry or niche. If you focus on Facebook ads, you can learn anything and everything about them.

You can learn how to create an ad, how to budget for it, target the right audience, and you can stay up to date on changes. That way, you can create the best possible ads for your clients.

You won’t have to spend a ton of time learning about other types of marketing. And as an expert, you can show potential clients you know what you’re talking about when you focus on one thing.

Charge More

While you may not have access to as many clients as a specialist, you can still make a lot of money. After you prove to clients you’re an expert, you can charge more for the value you bring to that one area.

Not only can charging more increase your revenue, but it may help you get a higher business valuation from or a similar company. If you ever want to get investors or sell the business, you can get more money with a higher valuation.

You can also charge more for your offers because you can spend more time on them. When you have to juggle different services, it can be easy to forget what goes into one thing when you don’t do it for a while.

Easier to Market

It may be harder to find enough clients, but it will be easier to create marketing materials for your campaigns. When you specialize, you can focus on marketing your business to one type of person.

You can create all of your marketing campaigns with that ideal customer in mind. Then, you can focus on the problems they have and how your business can solve those issues.

You’ll be able to narrow your target audience for any ads you run, so you can make sure your ad budget goes to the right people. And you can show clients that your business is what they need.

Deciding Between Generalization vs. Specialization

Whether you want to work in data or digital marketing, you should consider generalization vs. specialization. Being a generalist can bring you more work at first, but a specialist can charge more for their expertise.

When you specialize, you can focus on higher-level functions and services. Then, you can raise your prices to make more money, even with fewer clients. Did you enjoy this article? Check out our blog for more content.


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