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The Seven Guidelines Any Small Business Must Follow When Setting Up Or Seeking A Niche

Apr 19, 2008
Niche marketing means marketing to a select group of people that share a common interest. Niche marketing is the exact opposite of trying to appeal to a general group of people that have little if anything in common-as in everyone.

Here are seven guidelines that will help you set up or revise your niche:

1. Every product, service or small business either appeals to or has the potential to appeal to a concise definable group of people in a concise definable marketplace. There are no exceptions. You must be able to portray a clear snapshot of your product or service to your target market. If you cannot (or will not) do this, you will have a hard time breaking out from competition.

2. A niche market has common needs and interests. This means that a niche market is not just a small group of people in a defined geographic area.

3. YOU are not typical. What you want or how you see your market is irrelevant. Sorry! Only the market (not you) decides.

4. Never confuse a Mission Statement with a niche position. The hard truth is that any Mission Statement not founded upon a true niche is usually just so many words.

5. Never set your niche in stone. Your niche must be able to evolve, grow and change. If it does not, you will not or do not have a true niche. What you may have is a trench- a grave with no ends!

6. Never fall in love with your niche. This is much more difficult than you might imagine when you first consider it. If your chosen niche is not working and you are unable to get a handle on how to fix it, get a divorce! Be ready to RE-niche at any time.

7. Be 100% certain that you can deliver on your stated position every time with every customer or prospect. If you say you provide a free written estimate, provide it in a clear professional way, not scrawled on the back of a lunch bag.

Overall, you need to consider what business you are really in or intend to start. You need to be darned good at something. Sounds simplistic? Consider the following examples:

IBM apparently lost track of what business they were really in. They stumbled badly until they re-niched and recast themselves as selling business solutions rather than just computer hardware.

Kinkos started out as a tremendously successful copy shop filled with do-it-yourself photocopy machines. They evolved into being your branch office and teamed up with FedEx to expand their services to small businesses and entrepreneurs.

These and many other examples show that successful niching requires an initial laser-beam focus as well as the ability to change and evolve in these fast-moving times. You need to decide not just what you are going to do or offer as well as what you are not going to do or offer.

Say it clearly and say it often: THIS is what we do. THESE are our services. When you get sick of hearing it and seeing it, then and only then will you be even close to scratching the surface to reach your target audience.

If you have the idea that one or two or even several ads will bring immediate results, you are seriously mistaken. Insert the word constant into your thinking because constant exposure is what your business - but only after you have clearly defined your own niche and your own target market.
About the Author
Bob Schumacher books and articles give entrepreneurs a clear coffee-shop English perspective on how to steer their business or profession into the top 20% who achieve 80% of the business and profits. Visit http://www.20do80.com for a complete directory of his articles and books.
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