The Dangers of “One Size Fits All” Thinking
Not everyone is going to do things the way you do them. Not everyone is going to raise children like you do, and not everyone is going to eat the same way you do. Most importantly, not everyone is going to run a business like you, and not everyone is going to purchase like you do. That’s okay. Variation means that there will be less people successful in the same way you are, which means less competition for you. However, it also means that since not everyone runs a business like you, not everyone will buy from a business like you, either. This is just because not everything appeals to every audience—some people like to do things differently, even if your way is the best.
Much of the advice and many of the articles you’re going to read on starting a business work on this (false) premise: “This worked for me! It’ll work for you, too, and you can be successful.” However, there are a number of problems with this concept, which we will discuss below.
Everyone has different amounts of resources.
You can’t just assume someone will buy something because they appear to be the type of client that would need your company. You can’t just assume someone will have success when they start a company like you did, either. Either way, everyone has different budgets for different things, and it’s important to keep this in mind when you’re designing your services and packages. If you’re shooting for big company business, then pricing is less important. However, if you’re going for small or medium sized businesses, then frugality is something you should keep in mind. You shouldn’t undercut yourself, but your service should be priced for your industry. Perhaps you have a scaling price model that only increases someone’s budget if they grow larger or need more than they thought. Sometimes only offering three tiers of service may work—sometimes it won’t.
Everyone has different goals.
Have you considered how different the goals are when comparing your own purchases to someone else’s? You might want to make more money when you make a purchase, and someone else might be making exactly the same purchase for a completely different reason. This means you really have to stick to what you know about your audience by correctly identifying your niche. Someone can sell to one-person operations and you can sell to six-person operations, but you need to know that before you launch or design a product. It’s especially dangerous to think about one size fitting all when it comes to goals since everyone is so different, so make sure you consider what you need to know about your audience carefully. This means that following someone else’s business plan can completely wreck all of the hard work you’ve done.
In the end, be aware.
If you are having trouble knowing what you should do, or what business move you should make, or how you need to market to a new client, be careful before you follow someone else’s advice. This should be intuitive. Find what works well for you and keep with it. Don’t fix it if it isn’t broken and don’t buy into schemes that appear to “bring in more money” that are just business plans. Checklists, practices and anything that has brought someone else success many not do the same for you—because one size does not, in fact, fit all.