Charlie Mullins on the dangers of spreading yourself too thinly [Video]
Charlie Mullins describes the early "costly mistake" of spreading the company across too big a field
Bad mistake at the time – trying to take on too many customers rather than specialise. Costly mistake – quite a lot of those type of people mess you around with the money. We offer quite a personal service.
Speaking to Startups in this video, Charlie Mullins explains why he regards spreading your offering too thinly across different customer demographics is a “costly mistake” and why his company Pimlico Plumbers now has an unyielding focus on the domestic customer.
“We were very spread across the plumbing field – we would do work for builders, architects, designers and so on,” explains Mullins. “It was a bad mistake.”
Mullins explains that the business’ subsequent shift in focus towards the domestic customer paid off handsomely. “There are two types of plumber – there’s a plumber that goes on a building site, and there’s a plumber that can go in someone’s house, knows how to behave, and knows how to respect their property,” explains Mullins. “I would say now that we offer a personal service – you’re more on a one-to-one basis with the client, you’re more inclined to be able to please them, and you’re more likely to get paid.”
The straight-shooting entrepreneur describes the mistake of spreading Pimlico’s offering too thinly as a “costly” one, due to business clients being notoriously late payers. “Quite a lot of those types of people mess you around with the money,” he says. “Now, we won’t work for anyone other than the direct customer.”