I recently met with a local Philippine designer who discussed the importance of using local techniques and materials in his work.
The Philippines utilizes pineapple fiber in their traditional dress, which means the culture has worked with it for generations. They’ve learned how to cut it, treat it, etc.
They absolutely cannot compete with Italy in leather, or China’s silk, but they have the knowledge and material for pineapple fiber right there in their roots–so why not leverage that instead of trying to compete with ancient markets?
The same concept applies to business. Are you a marketing agency trying too hard to offer PR?
A writer can’t compete with a graphic designer when it comes to design, but they are great at creating compelling copy.
If you’re in the market for leather, go to Italy, but if you’re in the market for pineapple fiber, source from the Philippines. If you’re looking for content, hire a writer, if you’re looking for design, hire a designer.
Don’t confuse your clients by trying to do too much…a jack of all trades but an expert in none only gets you so far.
Focus on your unique strengths, and grow your skills so that your clients understand exactly what they’re investing in when they work with you. And if they want something else, they can (and probably should) go somewhere else.