Do you want your new business idea to be an absolute hit? Do you want to watch your customer base and revenue grow like Jack and his unstoppable beanstalk?
Well, if you want to guarantee big, steady growth make sure you find your ideal niche market before launching.
The thing is that no business can be all things to everyone. The more sharply you focus in on a target customer base, the better your growth. That’s what we mean by finding your ideal niche market.
A lot of entrepreneurs take an approach where they think that just through natural forces, after launching their product or service out into the wild, which a niche market will emerge. But, that’s rarely the case. Niche markets don’t happen by chance; they have to be developed carefully.
Trying to be everything to everyone will stretch your resources, burn-out your team, and confuse your audience.
Starting ‘small’ is advantageous. If you are highly focused on an ideal customer base, although smaller than the entire global population, you’ll be more successful at converting that small audience into actual customers. Don’t get caught marketing to a massive, watered-down audience only to be left with a tiny number of customers.
What does a Niche Market look like?
Your niche market should actually be hyper-unique. It should align with your business vision, goals, and the service/product you provide.
There are a few common characteristics of what a niche market actually is and does:
It’s a path directed towards your long-term vision.
It’s one-of-a-kind — it may be similar to competitors, but your target has, at least, one key difference.
It’s carefully thought out and strategized.
It’s capable of evolving
Your business differentiator should be reflected in your unique target market. A niche market, like the bullets above, should be crafted through a balance of sharpened focus and adaptability. You want to be highly specific while having systems and processes in place that make it easy to adapt as the market evolves and new revenue streams become available. Find this balance, and watch your business grow.
Who Do You Want To Do Business With?
Be very specific here. Don’t be scared.
Look into the geographical regions you can best sell in. Then, carefully decide the kind of customers your business can help out the most— the people or businesses that need is greatest for what you offer.
You can’t do business with everybody, especially when you’re first starting out.
Let go of any fears that if you aren’t selling to everybody, then you are limiting yourself.
Have we mentioned that you can’t be all things to all people? Well, we mean it, because a lot of new businesses fail within the first year or two by using up their resources trying to sell to everybody. It’s a harsh reality, but it can be beaten by focusing in on what it is that you do best and, more importantly, what you don’t do.
Being an extreme sports excursion company is not focused. That’s simply an industry. But, being a company that focuses on scuba diving excursions in the Caribbean for groups of 18-30 year olds is a focused service offering.
It can be hard to decide where to start, though.
You don’t want to be driven emotionally here; you want to be extremely critical and analytical when first launching. Start by listing out all the things your company does best and the skills of your team.
Identify the best experience your skill sets can provide when they’re all put together. Personal, hands-on experience will help you provide a superior product or service that is more than satisfactory for your customers. Developing your business based on your strengths will let your business grow and allow you to pursue expansion into other areas once a stable foundation is built.
Do unto others as they would do unto themselves
An extremely common issue with new businesses is that people tend to sell from their own perspective. It’s natural, but not efficient. You are not selling to yourself — you already sold yourself! — you are selling to an external market.
So, to be cliche, put yourself in their shoes.
Take on an intense role-playing session where you try to rid yourself of all your own internal bias and generalizations. Get yourself into the mindset of the target market you have identified, what do they think like and what do they genuinely need.
This last step that can make a big difference between having decent growth and having fast, efficient growth. This is where you can differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Dig deep, and talk to people. Talk to potential customers and businesses and discover the little details that will help you stand out, details that will make your future customer smile.
Having a niche target market will help in the long-run by differentiating you from a sea of sameness.
Stand out by being specialized and focused. This future-focused strategy will allow you to expand into further markets. The key is to start really focused and use the resources you have intelligently and efficiently, and, as always, have fun with it!