Small Business Marketing Specialist: Niche

Olympus Digital Camera

Ever had an amazing business idea only to discover it’s already out there in someone else’s name? You might even find that multiple businesses are already covering your dream market. You can still be successful, it’s just a matter of knowing what you can do to leverage your point of difference and Niche

To enter into a flooded market you need a lot of something; a lot of money, a lot of influence, a really massive fan base or the ability to undercut or overcut the existing infrastructure in a big way.

No matter what direction you take in a flooded market, the reflex response from your existing and future competitors is going to be the same: To take you down.

A flooded market ends up in a blood bath as competing companies fight each other to stay on top.

For the business owner, it’s a lot of stress. A saturated market consumes a lot of energy and resources for tasks other than growing your business and satisfying your customer. In a head-to-head attack, Apple and Microsoft’s lawsuits in the 1990s crippled both companies, halting innovation and the creation of new products for years. All of that for quite a small gain.

It’s not going to be easy to pick up customers in a saturated market. In most cases, customers like stability and loyalty and will stay with a company, a service and a product, even if it’s not perfect. The only customers you might pick up are those that are either desperately unhappy with their current options or trendsetters who are excited to take risks and dive into new, novel and unique products.

To attract those customers, you need to be able to effectively satisfy the unhappy customers and/or supply something vividly new.

Commercial marketing has its benefits; competitive prices, a lot of variety and easy-to-obtain products and services. The downside is it’s not all that unique, personal or well fitted. Most customers have to ‘make do’ with one size fits most, which may also come paired with poor quality, poor service or mediocre results. If that is industry standard, it becomes somewhat acceptable.

So how will a niche give you business strength? As we move further away from the industrial age people are seeking more than the mediocre standard. It’s the desire for quality, personal service and genuine experience that is leading the boom in small business niches. Thankfully, no matter the market, the number of potential niches is basically unlimited. We are standing on the edge of an incredible and exciting time in small business ownership.

Small Business Niches

When you have a market niche you have a shortcut. A niche bypasses the bloodbath of a flooded market and targets the ideal customer. Your task is to specifically look for those customers who are unhappy or completely overlooked with what is currently offered. You find what it is these people are missing and you fix it.

When you do that successfully you have a loyal following for life. More than that, you become a market leader and authority in your field, earning in days what it may take others months or even years to earn.

You are only limited by how much innovation, creativity and flexibility you apply to creating solutions that fix your customer pain points. The more innovation you input, the more risk-takers and trendsetters you will attract on your journey.

Some people feel that a niche market is a limiting concept because it targets so few people. That pocket of ‘few’ can actually be very large, it may, in fact, be millions.

Hitting a niche has a powerful impact. When you start to satisfy an audience that has previously been overlooked or mistreated, you enter the market with influence. These customers bring a lot of positive noise; raving reviews, high quality and a big volume of word-of-mouth advertising. You can’t buy that kind of publicity.

As you begin to excel at servicing your customers, you fine-tune and further tailor your product to meet their needs, you become a genuine skilled expert, which also increases your authority, income, brand and ability to influence. Eventually, the public hype can grow big enough that you sway customers over from their loyal base, gaining access to the bigger market, all without ruffling any corporate feathers.

Benefits to Finding Your Small Business Niche

Finding your niche doesn’t necessarily need to come at the start of your small business planning. Sometimes niche markets are formed when an existing business comes up against unexpected obstacles.

Overcoming an obstacle and seeing rapid and explosive growth where it wasn’t expected is just one of the incredible benefits of niching your business. Here are six big reasons why a niche is your key to business success in a saturated market.

1. You Get to Work in the Area You Love.

Usually the best niche is the one you are familiar with, something that has been a hidden obsession or long-term hobby where you have a lot of established skills and work ethic (maybe without even knowing it). Your passion will be your best marketing tool and will help drive you through fatigue and rough patches. The bonus here is you know the customer pain points of being left out, dissatisfied or overlooked by commercial markets. You have a genuine shared experience and connection that allows you to refine your product and get the conversation started.

2. Work With People You Like.

Working in your field of passion also means you will be working with customers you actually like. They like what you like and share your interests which enables you to better understand their needs and issues and make a genuine connection. You’ll also find it personally rewarding to help people you like to work with. There is a real sense of reward and achievement that you gain in addition to your income.

3. Deeper Sense of Satisfaction.

A better connection with your customer means a greater sense of business satisfaction. Sure, the financial rewards will be there as well, what you will find though is that satisfying your internal drivers will give you sustained energy and creativity and keep you loving your business for the rest of your life. That internal motivation is everything you need to get you powering through change, diversity and challenges that will come your way as your business continues to grow.

4. You Get to Be Opinionated.

Love sharing your opinion? When you own a niche business your business success depends on it! A niche is all about your opinion. Your opinion of the available products and your ability to meet the gap will be what defines your business and draws your customers in. As was the case for Richard Branson when he started Virgin airlines. It was his personal opinion of the performance of current airlines that launched his success.

5. Empower Your Customers.

When your customers come to a niche market they will feel like their opinions matter. They get the sense that what they say, think and feel matters to you and that you are listening. Big companies and corporations usually do not have time to give individuals a feeling of impact and power. As a niche service provider, you get to listen to their needs and give them a sense of importance. It creates a loyal bond, a genuine following and a lot of hype in the market as well as giving you insider opportunities to expand and refine your products to see even greater success and reach.

6. Rapid Rise to the Top.

As a niche business owner, you’ll climb the levels of authority to become an expert, very fast. When you lead a niche you are the first to do what you do, making you the leading market expert instantly. That gives you more authority, more space to present your ideas, findings and opinions and more trust from your customers.

The best part about all this is that a niche isn’t going to create waves. You are left to set up and run your businesses without interference. It’s great breathing space for a startup company to find legs and grow.

Finding your small business niche is possibly the most rewarding and biggest move you can make as a small business owner. If you have any doubts or questions, go to someone who has already had small business success who can give you professional advice on the direction you can take. A small business coach or specialised small business consultant with real-life business experience is the best person to work with you on stepping out for the first time or changing to a slightly different track to take your existing business to the next level.

I am passionate about helping small business owners find their niche and would love to assist you. If you are looking for a niche direction or need help assessing the parameters of what you have to offer, book a free strategy session and we will help you uncover the niche that will help you hit your business stride.

Or alternatively…