Try to please everybody and you end up pleasing nobody. This adage holds true in your personal life, but it also applies to business. It’s especially pertinent for smaller businesses that are striving to make their mark – or even enough cash to keep the company running.
In fact, one of the biggest mistakes small businesses continue to make is trying to do everything, appeal to everybody and attract as many people to their brand as humanly possible. Another saying warns; “If you market to everyone, you market to no one.” And you’re likely to end up selling to no one, as well. Finding you niche should be at the top of your business plan.
What finding your niche means
Finding your niche means narrowing your focus. This allows you to perfect a very specific product or service which appeals to a very specific audience. You can further narrow your niche by appealing to an audience in a particular location, in a targeted age group, with specific interests, with very specific needs, or any other small detail that can translate to big success.
When most people think of setting up a small business of their own, they often end up coming up with tangible products that people can purchase – clothes, food and beverages, furniture, anything else – but remember you can offer services too! You could set up a restaurant focused around a specific and less commonly seen type of cuisine. You could get involved in Reseller Hosting. You could set up your own staffing agency for a niche field of work. Remember, you’re operating in an increasingly saturated marketplace, so often, catering to a niche can be your chance to stand out from the crowd.
Companies that cornered their niche
Artisanal Pencil Sharpening met with success by filling a need. The company is in the business of hand-sharpening pencils. The company used to charge $40 to sharpen a pencil the customer would send in, and the orders piled up so high there was a turnaround time of six to eight weeks. The company has updated its products and services to now offer a brand-new, hand-sharpened pencil for the thrifty price of $500 in the U.S., $520 outside of it.
NYC Garbage found its niche by actually creating it. Company founder Justin Gignac took on the challenge of proving how good packaging could make anything desirable – so he packaged up garbage into nifty acrylic cubes. His creations sell for $50 to $100, depending on the exact type of garbage used, and his creations have been sold across the globe.
Black Note could have been just another e-liquid company in the vast world of e-liquids when the vaping industry exploded. But it instead focused on a very specific audience: adult smokers who enjoyed real tobacco taste. The company spent years researching and perfecting its real tobacco e-liquid, with a select number of blends all crafted using real tobacco extract instead of synthetic flavorings and colorings.
Greatest benefits of finding your niche
Companies that find their niche can focus their time, energy and efforts on perfecting a specific product and service – rather than being pulled in multiple directions. Here comes another adage that fits the scenario. Businesses that find their niche are unlikely to end up as the proverbial “jack of all trades, but master of none.”
They are instead the true masters of their specific product or service, typically with both a deep knowledge of passion for what they offer. Additional benefits of finding your niche include:
- Encounter less competition. Narrowing your focus automatically results in narrowing the playing field. Sell women’s clothing and you’re competing against millions. Sell organic women’s clothing and you’ve cut it down to thousands. Sell organic cotton women’s clothing for women 6-feet tall and up and you can instantly become a stand-out in your specialty.
- Increase online visibility. People searching for “e-liquid” online are going to end up with thousands of options. But people searching for “tobacco e-liquid” online are going to get far less results. The more you can narrow your focus, the more likely you’ll be found by people already ready to buy your product.
- Make more intelligent decisions. With a laser-sharp focus on a very specific target, you can make smarter business decisions. Simply ask yourself if a certain decision would appeal to your customers and/or advance your overall goal.
- Scale more quickly, but at a pace with which you’re still comfortable. Offering fewer products or services automatically makes it easier to update or modify them, especially across your website.
- Create more revenue in the long run. While selling fewer products or services may, at a glance, appear as if you’ll have fewer opportunities to make money, the opposite can actually be true. People looking to buy women’s clothing will have millions of companies vying for their purchase, perhaps choosing a different company every time. But people looking to buy organic cotton women’s clothing for their 6-foot-5-inch niece are going to come to you, again and again.
Finding your niche can be a great help, but it’s not the one and only way to ensure business success. Make sure you combine your profitable niche with high-quality products or services, exceptional customer service and an ongoing passion for what you do.