Having spent the last 20 years as a leader in small and medium private businesses,…
Why Finding a Business Niche Is the Best Approach
Many businesses try to be everything to everyone, believing that if they have a huge range of products and services they can appeal to a wide range of potential clients.
And they can. But is this necessarily the best approach?
Let’s have a look at the many advantages of taking the opposite approach, that of finding a small and very specific niche to play in:
Limit, or even eliminate, the competition.
Finding a very specific niche for your business can eliminate most or even all of your competitors. For example, my business operates in the publishing industry. Our niche within that is self-publishing. But even beyond that, we specialise in self-publishing for Small Business. How many competitors do we have in Australia who operate only in this area offering comparable skills, experience and services? One. Yes, one. And our tagline is “Australia’s #1 in self-publishing for small business” because I know that we are. Operating in this very specific niche has allowed us to claim it as our own.
Be the expert.
Next time you watch somebody on TV, read an article online or hear somebody interviewed in a podcast, odds are it’s a person with a highly specialised niche. It doesn’t matter the topic; you’ll always hear from the specialist, not the generalist because they have the most to offer on that specific subject. So, find a niche for your business and learn more about it than anybody else. It will provide great opportunities for you to build your profile and promote your business.
Increase your hit rate in a smaller market.
Finding a niche means you have a smaller group of people to market to, but you’re more suited to them and will, therefore, have a higher conversion rate. And remember that your niche is not your total market. You will still get people outside of it. We work mostly on Small Business publishing projects, but we still get enquiries from time to time about other types of books. And if we can fit them in and we think we’re the right people for the job, we sign them up!
Do a small number of things really well.
As well as developing a reputation for specialising in one area, you’ll also be able to become extremely skilled and efficient in that area, which will only add to your reputation. Focusing on just a few things also allows you to operate a streamlined business and not waste money on skills and resources trying to be good at everything.
Attract better referrals.
Nobody rings us and asks, “Do you help publish books for business?” That’s what we’re known for, and everything we do reflects that. So, when somebody has a poetry book, don’t call Michael. But a Small Business book? Call Michael because he’s ‘the man’ for Small Business books. Easy. And it will be easier to sign up clients because they come to you with a really clear idea of what you do and what they want.
Charge more for your expertise.
Once you’ve spent a few years in a small and clearly defined niche, odds are you’ll know more about it than most, and you’ll do a better job more quickly while making life easy for your clients. All of this adds up to being able to charge higher rates because you’re so awesome at what you do.
Once you own your niche, you can expand.
Operating in a small niche doesn’t mean you have to stay there forever. Once you own your niche, consider what is the next area that you can move into and take over? I can tell you firsthand this approach works. Thirteen years ago, my business offered just about any publishing-related service you could think of. Then we started to focus on self-publishing, and then we zoomed in on self-publishing for Small Business, and we tripled our revenue in one year. Now, based on what we’ve learned and the products and services we’ve developed in this niche, we have plans to extend out again past the Small Business niche with a new brand, operating alongside what we’re doing now.
So, what niche can you call your own?
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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