You know I am a Seth Godin follower. I missed his one day seminar in NYC on 10/22 :( One write up had this great point:
What do “expansion” and “growth” mean?
A wholesaler shared a beautiful new online retail store and a super question that was like: Now that I’ve become a successful wholesaler with stuff on the shelves of 800 boutiques worldwide, how do I become a successful retailer?
Seth’s answer was pretty much: Don’t.
My guess is the wholesaler saw the wholesale aspect of their business as a milestone or a bullet point. But Seth saw it a different way, where each billing relationship was an asset worth cultivating. So rather than expand their business by branching into the new-to-them world of online retail, he invited them to thrive in their familiar space and strive for more of what they already have: more shelf space at each boutique.
Imagine that: The next big step for your business, relationships, worklife, etc, may not be to do something completely different…it may be to do, even better, what you already do quite well. Deeper instead of wider. Imagine.
I boil that down to stick to your knitting.
Wholesale IP carriers try to do Retail as well because of better margins, but it is an entirely different business model. You need to scale to many more clients - and in most cases there isn't the back-office to deal with that issue.
So many VoIP Providers do it all: wholesale, retail, white label. But being mediocre at 3 lines of business is so telecom. Pick one. Excel. Take market share. Make big margin.