A Specialist vs. a “Jack-of-all-Trades”

A few years ago, a friend and I were discussing a popular restaurant chain. The restaurant’s slogan was “Steaks, Seafood, Salad”.

We both agreed that when we wanted to go out for dinner, we’d never choose a restaurant that claimed to be good at everything. Instead, if we’re in the mood for a steak, we would choose a steakhouse. If we were in the mood for seafood, we would choose a great seafood place. Why would anyone choose a restaurant that claimed to be good at everything?

I was reminded about the “steak, seafood, salad” conversation just recently. I was talking to a business owner who was telling me what he does. “We do branding, marketing, logo design, websites, social media, packaging, printing, mailing, and postcards.” Phew! That’s a lot, I thought to myself.

And instantly I remembered the old adage, “Jack of all trades, master of none.”

How can one company be great at all of those things?

The fact is, it can’t. When companies profess to provide a multitude of unrelated services, it usually means, “We’re not really great at any of these things, but we’re willing to try.”

So why do I bring up this point?

Because as you grow your business, you’re going to want specialists — talented partners and providers that specialize in specific things. Be wary of companies with lengthy lists of “What We Do”.

If I need a hip replacement, I want a hip surgeon. If I need electrical work done in my home, I want a Master Electrician.

If I want a steak, I go to a steakhouse.