To Diversify, or Not to Diversify?

Bob Hagel and his wife Dana own Eagle’s Mark Awards & Signs, offering a full line of personalized products using laser engraving, sand etching, and full-color UV direct print on products. They have offered awards, recognition, and signage products to organizations for more then a decade in the Southern California wine country.

You can diversify your technology to not only offer new products, but new methods of personalization, thus new looks; but, a shop cannot be great at everything—we have learned to diversify carefully. 

As I am often the lone production person, we have actually cut back on our offerings. I think that product diversification benefits a personalization shop up to a certain point. 

Here are a few examples where diversification may become a drawback:

  • When inventories get too large or a product line requires a larger inventory than you want or can carry.
  • If a product line doesn't fit your present business or the business you want to continue. For instance, if a new product line has a high percentage of rush orders, you may decide it is interfering with other business that you want to continue.
  • Some product lines take more effort than the price you can charge. This may be especially true based on the skillset you or your staff has to offer. If there is too little demand for this type of business in your marketplace, you may not develop these skills to an extent that makes it worthwhile to offer this service. 

—Bob Hagel, Eagle’s Mark