I got involved in a conversation a couple of days ago, sparked by the question:
Should I niche my business, and therefore turn away some business?
One of those questions that certainly lends itself to the dreaded “it depends” answer.
Whilst that it is the right answer, it is not very helpful to you, or anyone else wrestling with this question.
I’ll answer the two parts to the question separately.
Should I niche my business?
Yes, you should niche your business. What does that mean though?
Generally we think of niching as focussing on a specific market, above all else. This can be a very powerful strategy, but it needs to be approached correctly.
When you niche your business, it does not always mean you only work with one specific client and nobody else.
In your marketing, you will be aware of
MARKET – MESSAGE – MEDIA
Identify the market you want to serve, craft a targeted message to them, then choose the most appropriate media to reach them. In that order.
When it comes to niching your business, you should look at an additional level:
MARKET – TARGET – MESSAGE – MEDIA
By adding the additional layer of TARGET to your strategy, you are able to be a lot more specific and crucially, relevant to your target audience.
Let’s say you are a personal fitness trainer.
Essentially you can work with anybody who wants to get fit, lose weight or improve their health. You could work with anybody, but you really shouldn’t.
How would you craft a marketing message that appeals to both the stay-at-home mom and the busy CEO? No message will make you relevant to both. You need to choose a target.
Let’s say you settle on the following target: Male, 40+, C-Suite level, travels a lot, very busy, needs to maintain health and energy.
You can create a message in everything you do that speaks directly and only to that person. You can also create a position where you are charging a premium to serve this market, and they’ll be willing and able to pay it.
Does this mean you have to turn away everyone else who comes your way?
Maybe, maybe not.
If someone came to you who is male, 38, IT Consultant, Works from home.
They will still benefit from your services and providing they fall in line with your working methods, there is no reason not to take them on.
Your “Target” is the point of focus for your marketing, but it will attract some outliers, and that is fine.
The crucial thing to consider here is what impact will they have on the delivery process in your business.
Using my own business as an example.
I have very little appetite for taking on a project that will use Active Campaign instead of Infusionsoft. Not because Active Campaign is a bad choice, but simply because I don’t have the thousands of hours of experience with Active Campaign that I have with Infusionsoft.
I could get the job done, no problem, but it will take longer and involve more testing and “figuring things out”.
I would rather focus on working with clients who already have Infusionsoft or are happy to have us implement it for them as part of our project. It will be better value for them, and not cause delay and disruption in my business.
You need to consider the same when you do take on a new client or product line.
Does this new project complement your business and the systems and processes you already have? Will it involve too much “new” and cause more hassle than profit?
Do I have to choose one?
Of course, in your marketing, you can have several niches.
We were talking with a printer last week. We’re looking at niching their business to focus exclusively on the dentistry market.
They have several dental practices as clients already and therefore know what types of things dentists need from a printer.
We will create a very focused marketing campaign focussed exclusively on dentists.
Once that campaign is up and running and proving successful, then we’ll move on to another niche and speak to them specifically.
This allows us to position the printer as the expert when it comes to printing services for dental practices if you are a dentist.
If you belong to the second niche, then the printer will stand out as the expert in printing for your niche.
This strategy will allow us to create highly relevant marketing messages that speak directly to a single group at a time, rather than trying to be all things to all men, in which case you are relevant to nobody.
What niches can you identify and then target one at a time?
Author: Pieter K de Villiers
Pieter K de Villiers is slightly obsessed with systems. The systems and process automation he builds for small businesses are transformative, to say the least. Pieter is a Co-Founder of Barefoot Digital and the Amazon best-selling author of “Barefoot Business: 3 key systems to attract more leads, win more sales and delight more customers without your business killing you”.