Are You Trying to Offer Everything to Everyone?


“Who fixes hot water heaters?”

Our Saturday morning started out pretty calm and positive. Jay and I hit Walmart before 8am to pick up a few supplies for our weekend: needle and thread to fix some clothing issues, notebooks to start tracking our food and fitness better, and a hula hoop because we could all use a little more childlike play in our lives. At least, that’s what I told Jay when I put it in the cart.

All was well. It was beautiful. He started to work on his ’71 Dodge Charger in the garage, and I set about wrangling kids to clean up the house. Then, I headed to the shower.

3 minutes later, the water for my shower was still lukewarm at best. Another minute passed. Nothing. In fact, was it my imagination or was the water getting colder?

Now, I’m not super high-maintenance, but that won’t do.

Our gas was on, the bill was paid, the stove worked. All was well there. It just would not connect.

I realized: we know a lot of people who do various home repair services, but in the moment, my brain was blank. Who does plumbing? Does this person do plumbing, or just HVAC? What about that company, do they do hot water heaters or just roofing?

Jay and I were getting a little irritable. I was really looking forward to that shower, so I did what most people do in these situations – hit the trusty ol’ Google search.

hot water repair company
gas hot water heater not working
gas on hot water not working
who repairs hot water heaters in brandon ms
how many limbs will we have to sell to fix our hot water

Thankfully, I didn’t have to fall too far down the search engine rabbit hole. We have a great network of friends, and we got in touch with somebody who knew somebody. Not everybody has that, though.

This experience brought a few key lessons to mind:

  1. Even people who know you might not know what you do. Keep talking about it.

    I know we all hope that all of our friends and relatives know exactly what we can do, and can refer us business or give us a call at the drop of a hat. In reality, this just isn’t the case. It’s not a personal thing. Could you give a detailed account of what every single one of your friends and relatives does for a living? If so, that’s awesome. I am not that awesome yet, but I’m working on it.

    Keep talking about it. Don’t assume that everybody already knows.

  2. The riches are in the niches.

    Even if you offer multiple services (and most businesses do), make sure to position your marketing efforts in a way that helps you stand out. Many people are afraid that they will alienate or push away potential clients if they stick to one or two primary services in their marketing efforts. Instead, the opposite is usually true. When you are more specific, you are more memorable.

    If you’re everything to everyone, you’re nothing to anyone. Be the company that stands out and solves your customer’s primary problem.

  3. Always have testimonials and reviews on your website.

    When I was searching through local home services, the reviews made all the difference. I’m looking into possibly inviting a stranger into my home – you can bet I’m going to do some research first. There are websites that host reviews, like Angie’s List and YellowPages and so many others, and those are helpful for what they do. But if you have a website (and of course we believe you should always have a website), put some reviews on your website also.

    If you don’t have a lot of reviews, start by asking your current and past clients to give you a shout-out! Most people just don’t think about it unless they have an exceptionally bad (or good) experience. It never hurts to ask.

In any case, hopefully we’ll have hot water soon.

How do you position your business to stand out? Leave a comment to let us know what works for you!

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Ashley Longmire

Ashley is passionate about helping businesses grow in the online world. She brings over 10 years of entrepreneurship, business processes, and business management experience to the table. Her skills include designing and building websites, writing, graphic design, social media strategy, analytics, and grocery shopping with 4 children without having a nervous breakdown. Connect on LinkedIn!

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