Claire Bradford: one specialism makes better business sense

I’ve always rather envied those people who know exactly what they want.

When I was about three, my best friend wanted to be a vet.

She stuck to this all the way through school, chose the right subjects to study at the right level, worked hard, went off to Cambridge and became a vet. Me?

I wanted to be a pharmacist, then a psychologist, then an actress. Almost every week it was something different.

When it came to choosing my subjects for GCSE, A-Level and even at degree level, I hedged my bets and kept my options as wide open as possible to avoid having to specialise in something I would later decide I didn’t want to do.

I suppose, if you were kindly, you might call me all-rounder; ideal entrepreneur material.

Or maybe you’d just say flaky. But in truth, I just want to do it all.

I am a classic magpie – drawn by the next new, shiny project.

I have learned this about myself over the years, of course, and learned to use it to my advantage where possible, but it still holds me back whenever the ‘n’ word is mentioned.

I mean (whisper it) ‘niching’.

Time and time again, it has been proven that being known for providing a specialist service or item to a select target audience makes for better business than trying to serve lots of different people with a wide range of services.

And so, after a thought-provoking conversation with the wonderful Avril Oliver ( on this topic, I find myself facing my options again.

This time, however, the choices are what to focus on marketing out of my wide range of skills and interests (mostly coaching based), and to whom to do so.

Again, the questions centre around ‘what do I love to do’? and ‘what’s the most useful’?

But his time the latter question means useful to other people, and therefore most marketable.

It’s a set of questions I have to come back to every few years, as I feel my interests spreading, and a process I find really uncomfortable.

So, I’m interested – do you ever face these questions, or are you single-minded?

Maybe you have a ‘portfolio’ of businesses and services?

I’d love to know your experiences!.

Email me via or alternatively drop me a tweet via my username, @coachbythecoast