ICS Magazine

Diversification is Key to Growing a Business

September 16, 2010

In today’s troubled economy, many companies are struggling to survive. Those that are surviving or, in some cases, thriving, are using diversification as a tool for growth.

Here’s an example: while some Fortune 500 companies have seen their business drop to all-time lows, Wall Street seems to be rewarding companies that don’t rely on one line of business for profit and revenues, but are diversified across multiple products and services. As a cleaning or restoration professional, you can apply the same practice of diversification to help grow your business. Many IICRC Certified Technicians are certified across multiple areas of cleaning, restoration and inspection.

It makes sense if you’re certified in carpet cleaning to also become certified in upholstery cleaning and rug cleaning. As we’re all too aware, many homeowners are opting for all hard surface flooring, such as tile and hardwood, these days. Being certified in other areas of floor cleaning will provide you an opportunity to keep the same customers no matter the type of flooring in their home, or offer additional services to a new customer for all the various surfaces in their home.

It also provides you an opportunity to educate your customers on the benefits and proper maintenance of each type of flooring. They will begin see you as an expert and a trusted resource rather than just a vendor.

Consider branching out even further and consider the restoration segment, based on particular issues you see in your area. For example, the southeastern U.S. deals with mold issues due to the high humidity in the region and the western part of the country battles wildfires on a regular basis.

Building your expertise in these areas will allow you to capture new business from existing customers – remember, you’ve already positioned yourself as a trusted advisor, and this is another way to continue building your relationships.

It’s not about the acronyms that come after your name on a business card – being an expert in multiple areas will only increase your credibility with your customer base. You want to provide them with the best possible service and keep them coming back not just for your primary services, but for the secondary services you offer as well.

For a list of the certifications the IICRC offers and class schedules, visit http://www.iicrc.org/courses.shtml.