Let’s talk a little bit about finding a fertile place to plant your business, also known as your niche. If you are going to be successful in business over the long term, you need to be able to answer the following questions: Who are you going to serve? What business are you really in? Where is there a large enough group of people that you can market to that will sustain your business plan?
A lot of companies struggle with these answers. A few years ago, as we we were going through a reorganization, we too were confronted with these questions. Our original draft of the marketing plan contained a statement that identified our primary market as ‘small business owners’. We quickly came to realize that our statement encompassed too broad a group of people and a market that we could not realistically target properly.
So, it took some time to actually hone down the message and to really be precise about who we specifically wanted to talk to and who we specifically wanted to target and to be effective, you are going to need to do the same thing. You cannot be all things to all people although a lot of entrepreneurs try. In fact, that is actually the biggest problem that entrepreneurs have. We all have so many good ideas that we don’t know which ones to act on and we often don’t know who we are really targeting.
This uncertainty impacts your ability to market, your ability to craft a message, your ability to look for other folks that you can work with as far as joint venture partners and things like that. So, really sit back and try to think about your niche. Who you want to serve based on your skill set and your products? Think about who your primary clients are and then think about who your secondary markets are.
If you are selling a product, think about all of the primary uses as well as optional uses for the product. The answers will drive you to secondary user groups as well as completely different secondary niches. It is not uncommon to discover that what was thought to be a secondary niche can turn into a larger viable business simply by tweaking marketing, color or name.
The more tightly that you can confine and define these niches, the easier it is going to be to dive deeper into them, create lasting relationships with the customers that are going to help you grow a strong business.
Making sure that you develop strong roots, planted in a fertile niche, right from the beginning, will create the kind of business success and long term profitability that every business owner craves.