I saw an advert recently for the Daily Telegraph’s jobs board. It claims them to be “Specialists in your Industry”. Er, no they aren’t. They can’t be.
They may ‘cover’ every industry. They may have vacancies or jobs for people in “every” (or, more likely, simply ‘most’) industries. But, by definition, they cannot be ‘specialists’ in all industries. No one can. Specialists concentrate primarily on a particular subject or activity. This is the complete opposite of what the Telegraph jobs board attempts to assert.
This reminded me of the nonsensical way that some accountants claim to specialise in working with or advising SMEs. I’m sorry but this is hardly a meaningful specialism either.
Official statistics from the Dept of Business Innovation & Skills show that OVER 99.7% of all UK businesses satisfy the definition of SME business. The stats also reveal that around 4.5 million businesses in the UK rank as SMEs, so it’s not realistic to claim SMEs as a specialism. And I am firmly of the view that Accountants, of all people, should not perpetuate the myth that the acronym ‘SME’ refers only to the smallest micro businesses (which officially have a turnover of less than 2m euros and fewer than 10 staff).
If you ‘specialise’ in advising micro or smaller businesses, solopreneurs or small family-run businesses you cannot, at the same time also ‘specialise’ in advising those with muti-million pound turnovers and hundreds of staff. (The definition of SME includes those businesses with a turnover of upto £25.9m and upto 250 staff).
Some accountants’ websites misuse the word ‘specialise’ in another way. They list out the industries in which the firm ‘specialises’. All too often, this is simply a list of all of the industries in which the firm has at least one or two clients.
Those firms which truly have a specialist focus generally evidence this by explaining how their focus benefits clients in those industries. The websites have specific pages that talk to prospective clients in those industries and contain specialist information of relevance and benefit to prospects in those industries.
Rant over. Do let me know what you think on this topic by adding your comments below please.