Have you ever like me, walked into a restaurant looked at the menu and gulped when you realised there are fifty plus dishes on it from ranging from Italian to Mexican to Thai cuisine? My alarm bells start to flash like crazy and I think, how can they be good at all these things?
One of my favourite restaurants in the world is The Laksa Bar in Melbourne. Yes you guessed it, most of the dishes on the menu are laksa and because of that they are really good at it. It doesn’t matter what day of the week you go, this little restaurant is always buzzing with customers.
Many small business owners seem to struggle with the idea of becoming a specialist rather than a generalist.
Some business owners simply want to try and help everyone and not leave anyone out. Others think that by narrowing what they offer and to whom, they will make less money or they think the market is too small.
In fact it’s the opposite. Marketing experts say that if you narrow your niche, your business will strengthen. You just need to make sure your product or service fills a genuine need in the niche you choose.
Here are five ways a narrow niche broadens your opportunities.
1. People love doing business with specialists
If you have just been diagnosed with bowel cancer, who would you rather be treated by, your GP or a well regarded consultant oncologist?
It is just the same when we make a purchase. If you are interested in ethical investments, then you would be much more likely to try to seek out a financial adviser with specialist knowledge in that area, rather than work with someone who works broadly with everyone.
2. It’s easier to market yourself
When you try to reach everyone out there with your marketing, then the chances are your message will resonate with very few.
If you were persuading your 18 year old niece to come on holiday with you, your strategy and language would be very different than if you were asking 75 year old grandfather to join you. Marketing is the same principle.
An 18 and 75 year olds of different sexes have different problems, motivations, interests and desires. Therefore the way you need to talk to each is very different.
Can you imagine being a gym owner trying to bring in 18 girls and 75 year old men? Both would be utterly put off by the other group being there and you’d end up attracting no one.
Marketing is about telling a story that resonates with someone deeply enough to do business with you. Narrowing your niche makes marketing, cheaper, easier and much more effective.
3. You’ll get more referrals
When you are able to solve a specific problem for a specific group of people, you become well known for it. Your customers will rave about you and refer other people to you just like them.
When you are out networking in person or online people find it much easier to refer people to you when you have communicated very specific about the people you help and how you help them. Generalists are easily forgettable but specialists because they are much less common stand out like unicorns.
4. You Can Charge More
In smaller niches where there is less competition, people are prepared to pay more for what you do because they perceive that if that’s all you do then you will be good at it.
For example if you were an acupuncturist who has specific experience with helping women to become pregnant, clients would come far and wide and pay much more for the service than that of a generalist because you are well known for solving a specific problem they have.
5. When you focus on less you’ll achieve much more
The more people you try to please and the more product lines you have to focus on, the harder it will be to succeed.
It’s like spinning plates, if you are trying to keep one in the air, you can concentrate on it really hard and it will most likely stay there. If you are trying to spin five at a time you will start to drop some or most likely all of them.
Focusing on becoming the master at solving one or two really specific problems for a smaller group of people, is much more effective than trying to be everything to everybody.
Imagine if Apple decide to start making pianos, what would it do to their brand and how confused would their customers be????
The trick is to find a niche an inch wide and a mile deep and then get really, really good at it!
Get FREE ARTICLES from Claire each week that give you proven strategies for growing a profitable business, living a purposeful life, and becoming an entrepreneur of influence.
As well as being a Chartered Management Accountant (CIMA) and ex-CFO with over 20 years experience, she has also worked extensively with small and medium sized business owners to help them grow profitable businesses.
She's also a certified coach, NLP practitioner, Metadynamics TM Consultant and contributor for Kochie’s Business Builders.
Latest posts by Claire Whitelaw Brown (see all)
- My Appearance on Perth’s The Shine Show with Salome Schillack - November 28, 2016
- Why To Be a Great Accountant Means Being a Great Relationship Builder - September 23, 2016
- How To Future Proof Your Accounting Practice - August 10, 2016