When I was a small boy I can remember being taken to a small stream to fish and explore, I was given a small fishing net on a pole and was allowed to dip my net in the water and catch stickleback fish, the aim being to put these into a jar. Now as a small boy I learned that I had more chance of catching fish in a small stream than I did in a large lake as the fish were fast and could easily get away. I’m sure many of the people reading this have similar experiences, do you?
Yet years later when we go into business, one of the biggest mistakes a small business owner can make is to try and cast his net too wide when it comes to who they will serve, and the products and services they offer. They are basically trying to fish in the large lake and those childhood lessons have been forgotten because it might seem counter-intuitive to narrow your focus to make more sales. But when you have a small business (small net) it’s the best way to earn money (catch fish) with less effort.
By being a small business, you cannot be all things to all people, you cannot compete on price as there is always someone out there who can charge less, which means you should not even try to compete on price. Instead, narrow your niche and compete on specialization and value. Show your market how special your products or services are compared to your nearest competition. Make sure that you stand out from the rest by not competing on their level but on yours.
Facts about niche markets:
Niche Markets Have Fewer Customers
This might seem like an obvious statement but it should be stated again, when you have fewer customers you need to differentiate in a new way to compete and attract customers. By choosing a narrow niche market, you’ll focus on quality or even quirkiness over price and you will actually close more sales.
Niche Markets are Less Price Sensitive
Due to the fact that fewer businesses are willing to serve smaller markets, they are often less price sensitive due to lower competition for their business. So the customer is more impressed by how you are different and how you solve problems rather than your price.
Market Expansion Means Creating New Products or Services
One issue with a narrow focus is that you’ll need to find new ways to maximize revenue. Usually, this will be in the form of new products and/or services created just for your niche, such as education, more personalized services, and the best one of all, residual income programs.
Staying Successful Means Always Improving over Competitors
With a narrow focus you can really get to know not only your customers but also your competition, and continue to improve the value you offer your audience without lowering your price, in fact the opposite if often true and you can generally charge more.
You’ll need to Build Relationships with Customers
When dealing with a smaller niche, you want to bring your customers into your circle and make them part of your family. You want to get to know them and let them get to know you. Building relationships is an essential component of increasing sales within a niche market, and if you take nothing else from this article, take that… small business is all about building relationships.
Narrowing Your Niche Enables You to Focus Your Talents
The more you specialize, the more you can be seen as an expert by your audience and in truth the more of an actual expert you will become. You’ll become a lot freer to do the kind of work that you want to do and that interests you and makes you perform better.
Narrowing Your Niche Gives You a Competitive Advantage
By working with a very small, focused, and narrow niche, you’ll have an advantage over other businesses owners who don’t understand the power of focus.
You’ll Get More Referrals and Recommendations
Due to having a smaller market your audience will become a lot like fans and cheerleaders, recommending and referring you to their friends and colleagues who are likely to also be members of your niche, this means that you’ll get a steady stream of referrals.
Finally, the way to narrow your niche market is to choose a market in which you already have experience, talent, connections and an understanding of their needs. This won’t reduce your need to study and research the market, but it will give you a good starting point from to market to your niche markets.