The definition of diversify is to increase the variety of products available. During tough economic times we all suffer in one way or another. Companies experience their profits shrinking, their expenses increasing and the possibility of bankruptcy. Individuals experience their salaries decreasing, job loss and expenses increasing. We all need help and advice during times when things are tough. Companies and individuals need to look at opportunities to diversify to get a step ahead of their competition. You have to spend money to make money.
During good economic times companies seem to stick to the mentality “If it is not broke, don’t fix it”. Many companies are scared of change and don’t want spend the capital to diversify. Let’s use Apple, Inc. (Apple) as an example of a company who wasn’t scared of change. Apple was founded as a PC company. In the late 90’s, Apple was struggling with profits, so they decided to diversify and created the iPod. With the success of the iPod, Apple has been able to expand their diversification into success with the iTunes store, iPhone, iPad and many other products. Microsoft could only stand by and watch Apple surpass them to become the worlds most valuable technology company. Microsoft had something good going with their Windows software, but they chose not to take a chance and diversify. Companies are no the only thing that need to diversify.
Individuals also need to diversify. When times are tough and the job market shrinks education becomes extremely important. Expanding your education can separate you from other job candidates. There is a cost that comes with education, but it is an investment. A Masters in Business Administration (MBA) is just one example of additional education that you can pursue. Most people think the cost and time is too much for them. There is a time commitment, but the return on investment is much shorter than you would expect. For example, the state resident total expense for an MBA from the University of Nevada, Reno ranges from $15,000 to $20,000. The return on this type of investment is approximately 1 to 5 years; depending on what school you choose to go attend. If you are having problems finding a job, consider going back to school.
Diversifying is important for both companies and individuals. Good economic times are a good time to diversify, but tough economic times are even a better time to diversify. Make a financial investment to either improve your product selection or expand your education. Diversifying is an investment, not an expense.