Guest post from Melinda F. Emerson who wrote the national bestseller Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months; A Month-By-Month Guide to a Business That Works. Melinda is known to many as the “Small Biz Lady,” one of the country’s leading small business experts.
One of the top reasons why small businesses fail is because they try to sell to anyone that they think has money. Now hear this: If everybody can use your product or service, no one will.
That is why it’s important to have a niche – narrow in on your potential customers. A niche has a particular market or specialty area where a company finds it profitable to concentrate its efforts. Niche marketing also offers an area of limited competition.
Why Niche? Niche marketing is cost-effective. By identifying your niche customer you can eliminate a lot of guess work and your marketing dollars will be targeted and go a lot further. The more specific your customers are the easier it is to meet their needs. You must study where they shop, where they live, how often they buy things, what their values are and what are their pain points—then armed with a detailed customer profile it is much easier to design custom solutions and sell to them.
Use the internet to dig deeper into your market. For example, I know an event planner created a website focused on Sweet 16 parties to advertise her business. She researched the key words people used to search for help with teen party planning and made sure to use those key words in her blog posts and marketing copy. Her business really took off after she launched her “princess for a day” website. Use the web to establish your niche brand, and become the ‘king’ or ‘queen’ of your niche.
Niche marketing is a major theme in my book Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months; A Month-By-Month Guide to a Business That Works. The book walks you step-by-step through the Emerson Planning System, which will reduce your learning curve as you start your business.
Reduce the Competition
You must niche to get rich as a small business owner. Nowadays, all competition is global. Competing on price is virtually impossible, so it is all about adding maximizing value for your customers. This means you must specialize in solving their core problem. The best thing about running a niche business is that you reduce the competition.
Too many entrepreneurs make the mistake of trying to go after too broad a market. They chase too many clients in too many diverse industries. As a small business owner you have limited time and limited resources to market your business. Do not chase every ambulance going down the street that you think might have money in the back. After months of doing this, your business will be on life support in need of emergency care.
If you try to sell to anyone with money—you’re going to struggle in business. And you will not be known for anything. One of the best ways to carve out a niche for your business is to position yourself as an expert. Try blogging, writing a book, doing media interviews on your topic, expertise or the services you are offering. Make sure you create a social media footprint that shows that you are the go to expert in your field. People will “google “you before they even pick up the phone to call you for a quote.
Consider this; lots of people sell graphic design services, promotional products and desserts. Why should anyone buy them from you? Lots of people sell marketing consulting services. What makes your services so special? What difference does it make to my business if I use your service? Do you have an answer for this in your business?
Do you have a niche business? Tell me about it?
The first 23 to post a comment will get a copy of Melinda’s book courtesy of the Verizon small business team. To get real-time insights from Melinda Emerson join our LIVE Twitter chat tomorrow (August 11) at 2 p.m. ET. For more information on the chat click here.
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