"Blue ocean" specialize VS "Red ocean" specialize
That's what I think it comes down to.
-You specialize as a framer, plumber, electrician, etc. and you're still in the red.
-You specialize in a unique product or service, you're in the blue.
Your market demographic shrinks (gross), but so does your competition.
I.E.= 1 framing company competing with 500 other equally qualified competitors in a market that represents 10, 000 demographic members. You're very roughly looking at a demographic of 20.
1 company specializing in Cupolas, competing with 2 other equally qualified competitors in a demographic market of 300 members. Very roughly= 100.
That's 5x the demographic output. 5x the # of jobs. So even if scenario 1 profits the owner by 4k and scenario 2 profits the owner by 1k, you're still ahead (overhead being the same).
From a strictly business/financial perspective, you have to evaluate the numbers. If you do find a "blue ocean" specialization that works, then you're GOLDEN in every sense. Just think about advertising savings, recognition.
Pay per click on "General Contractor" might run you $8/click (in my area). "Cupola" might be 25 cents. Add the fact that your competition is almost non-existent in such a rare specialization. (I'm just using an example).
There are other perks (like the ones mentioned above) that jump out more prominently, but consider a rare/unique service for the extra "tweak".
Just some thoughts :thumbsup:
One thing to keep in mind if you specialize in a unique enough offering is that you will probably be targeting a high end market. Something often over looked in high end work is that "price" is not the same budget consideration it is in lower income households. To people with money, "price" is simply just a number.
Some are not cut out to do a variety of things. So only the OP is aware of his capabilities.
It all comes down to the business skills of each individual contractor when making a decision like this. Although my trade focus is residential electric, I slowly branched out to smaller GC jobs but ONLY after I spent several years interacting with other tradespeople on the jobs. In time you can sort out the good guys from the bad.
IMHO, you need to develop relationships with guys in other trades (including your own) in order confidently use them on a job you are ultimately responsible for. Just "subbing it out" doesnt work. You need to know the quality of their work, their background and insurance details, and be able to work things out with them if something comes up. You can really only tell that if you have dealt with them for awhile.
If the OP has the skills to realistically schedule a job, can solve problems on the fly, knows the order of trades, can multitask, can trust the skills and integrity of any subs he has in mind (and uses them), has basic accounting skills, people skills, etc. then I think he has the makings of a GC.
Only he really knows the answer to this.
Edit-sorry I did have a point-just forgot to summarize it. What worked for me was to specialize first, and take a good look around.