A Niche is defined as a “distinct section of the market” by dictionary.com. Think of…
7 Myths About Niching Your Business
For many years I’ve avoided putting all my eggs in one basket in my business.
These days I have several baskets, and one of them is particularly larger than the others. I’ve finally worked out how to niche successfully.
Probably the best way to show how niching has worked for me is to unpack some of the myths around niching:
1. If I niche, I will miss out on other opportunities.
The beauty of niching is that you focus your marketing efforts on a particular target. What else happens is that your old customers and other customers who aren’t part of that niche don’t necessarily know you are focusing on a market sector. Why would they? They aren’t being marketed to in that way. As far as they are concerned, you are still available to help them. So, referrals, leads and website enquiries from other sectors still come in.
2. If I niche, I put all my eggs in one basket.
Niching is not the same as having one client. If you only have one client; you have a job, not a business. You are then at just as much at risk as any employee who is relying on one source of income. If you niche, you are focusing on a particular industry, location, sector or product delivery. It doesn’t mean limiting yourself to just one client. You should have an array of clients within a niche that you can service.
3. I will limit my income if I niche.
If you choose your niche well, you will be able to charge more and earn more as you become recognised as the go-to person in that sector. Of course, research your sector and be sure that they have the potential to pay well for the services or products you provide. There’s no point niching to a sector that will only be able to pay bottom dollar.
4. My niche may disappear, and I’ll be left with nothing.
Markets do change, and changes are more common now that ever before. If you are immersed in your niche, you should be able to identify movements in the market better than anyone else. You should be able to spot patterns that the individual businesses don’t see because you are able to compare similar clients. So, yes, your market could shift, but you should be able to anticipate that and adapt as required. By niching, you will be ahead of the curve.
5. What if I pick the wrong niche.
It is tricky to know if you have the right niche. I found I needed to develop several niches at once. Over time, one emerged as the clear front-runner. It was one I could more easily immerse my business into. I had access to plenty of clients with decent budgets, and I was able to add value to them.
So, research the potential for your niche first, and see which ones you are drawn to. Test the water, target the different niches and see which one gets the best results. This leaves the others targets as potential business as well.
6. Who am I to own this niche?
Ah yes, the old imposter syndrome. My advice on this issue is to just start. Find ways to add value to your clients and build upon that. Over time you will be recognised for the contribution you make to your niche and will be referred to by others within your niche.
7. I’ve tried niching, but it hasn’t worked.
Owning a niche takes times. It has been three years of steadily engaging with my niche before I saw the momentum pick up. During this time, I connected with many in the space; I developed new products suitable for the clients; I packaged up my products, so it was easier to purchase in bulk rather than individually (which for video productions was a new step for me). Invest your energy wisely so that your efforts bear fruit. For me, I was able to align with an association full of my target market. By sponsoring and engaging with that association, I have attracted more and more ideal clients.
Key benefits of niching:
- Focused marketing.
Now that niching is working for me I find my marketing is much more focused and much more successful. I’ve moved from shotgun-style marketing, hoping a pellet will hit the mark every now and then, to laser focused marketing, where I know exactly who I need to talk to and what I can offer them. I get good engagement, it takes less time, and I get a better return on investment.
- Productive use of time.
I am not being ‘busy’ at random networking events or with hopeful social media postings. I am attending events with my target niche who are happy to see me there and engage with me. I am messaging directly with the people who are in my niche, and my messaging is much more specific to their needs.
- Steady cash flow.
My business now has a steady workload. I have moved past the unpredictable roller coaster, cash flow ride of a Small Business. I have monthly commitments from regular clients, and I know my workload well in advance.
If you are not yet niching and your business is not flowing then perhaps it’s time you committed to it. Accept that it could take several years to see the benefits, so start now.
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