Almost all of us can remember a time when we were little when we were in a crowded public space and got separated from our mother or father. Terrified, we shouted out for them. For a brief moment, a large number of people stopped what they were doing and looked at us. Then hopefully, our mom or dad heard us then came running to comfort us. We didn’t know it at the time, but that was our very first experience in niching.
There’s a lot of talk these days about niching down in your business. It means that you specialize your product or service to serve a very specific customer base. There are many advantages to selecting a business niche and sticking to it, which we’ll explore. But first, let’s go back to the previous example.
Imagine you were an adult in that large crowd, and you were also a parent. You hear a child cry out for “mommy” or “daddy,” and you instinctively turn your head to look, even if your own kid is right next to you. That lost child’s message cut through all the other noise in that public space and got your attention. Suppose that child’s parent didn’t come to comfort them, there’s a good chance you’d try to help the child, being the good parent you are.
To tie this all into business niching, when you define your business’s niche, the product or service you offer (the lost child) becomes much more clear to your target audience (the parents). Now lets, take a look at some advantages of niching down your business.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of examples of businesses that we see every day that focus their knowledge to provide a product or service that serves a very select market. A cheesecake shop opposed to a bakery, an arborist versus a general landscaper, an auto paint detailing company instead of a body shop; these are all examples of businesses that chose a niche and stuck to it.
These companies who specialize in a particular skill or craft may not have the same volume of business as one who’s more generalized; however, they make up for it with premiums they charge the customer for their expertise. Ask yourself, if you had a dead tree hanging over your house that needed to be cut down, would you call a general landscaper or seasoned arborist to remove it? You might get a better deal with the landscaping company, but chances are, you’d pay more to the arborist for the peace of mind that the job will be done right.
The critical component of positioning yourself as a specialized expert in a particular field is that you must indeed be an expert. In most instances, people develop a niche because they develop their skills over time through study and work experience. It’s not to say that you can’t jump into a niche, but it’s essential to put in the work and become a true expert within your niche if you want to be successful.
Part of being an expert is that you know pretty much every problem your customers might encounter and how exactly to solve it. By understanding your customers’ pain points, you can speak directly to them and actually attract them to your business. This marketing strategy is called inbound marketing.
Through content marketing and SEO (search engine optimization), you can publish content on your website that draws in your target audience through internet searches. By providing people answers to the problems they seek, your standing as a perceived expert in your field is elevated even higher. Knowing your prospects’ pain points is beneficial not only for inbound marketing but also for outbound marketing (paid ads, direct mailers, commercials).
Another type of marketing that is entirely free, highly effective, and really takes off when you niche down your business is word-of-mouth marketing. When you provide a specialized product or service, especially if your business is focused on serving other businesses or professionals, your customers will likely refer you to other people within their network. Building relationships within a niche business network should be a goal of any business owner who offers a niche product or service because it’s almost a guaranteed recipe for success.
Before you choose a business niche, it’s crucial to ensure that it’s work you enjoy. If not, chances are that you’ll be moving on to another business venture in the future.
When you’re doing the type of work you love, you’re obviously going to be happier in your day-to-day life. Also, it’s much easier to build relationships with clients and customers because you’re doing a great job at helping them in a particular way.
Developing a specialized niche for your business is a great way to achieve success and be fulfilled by your career. However, niching down in business isn’t for everyone. Some types of companies benefit from a more generalized approach. Before considering a niche, it’s critical to examine all aspects of your business and target market to fully understand if niching down is right for you.
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