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Strategic Alliances: Laser Focus Your Niche to Increase Profits

Jul 22, 2008
Many budding Internet business people and entrepreneurs think that the best way to establish a successful business is to sell to a wide potential market. They may be afraid to pursue a smaller niche market business at the risk of limiting themselves and turning away potential clients by not offering a wide enough variety of products and services. But this philosophy actually runs counter to what a niche-based business is all about. With a market of specialized products and services, there is less risk. You can get your feet wet if you are new in the Internet business by gaining expertise in one product area, rather than trying to spread yourself too thin with little experience.

Occupying a niche means that you won't be competing with many similar businesses solely on price. As a new start-up business, trying to compete with large, established businesses, you may not have the capital to do so via price competition, or savvy of experience to compete via a sleek marketing machine. A niche market product is a great way for newcomers to Internet business to get a start, but there are a couple of integral strategies that accompany appealing to a niche market.

Benefits of a Niche Market Business

A business that sells to a niche market offers products and services that are specialized and often customized to a client's particular requirements. Because you will be selling products and services with a unique set of qualities, you are often able to charge more, as there is less competition in your field. You distinguish yourself by offering a product or service that almost nobody else does.

Offering a niche product will sometimes make it difficult to market your company. If you are so specialized, how do you get the word out about what it is you do? In niche marketing, establishing a collaborative relationship with your contemporaries in similar but not identical industries is an important aspect of a strategic marketing plan.

Strategic Alliances and Niche Markets

In small business, it is important to get to know your contemporaries, as well as your competitors. You may be trying to gain the same business that your competitors are, but occasionally, they may be out of a product and send a customer your way, and vice versa. This is less likely if you have a corner of a small, niche market, but it's still a possibility and good relationship practice for your business to stay in good standing with competitors and contemporaries.

Strategic alliances are an important aspect of niche marketing because these relationships will help raise awareness for your products and services. A strategic alliance is a business relationship you enter into with a company who has a tangential relationship to your own business, but is not a direct competitor. For example, if I own a company that rents designer wedding dresses, it makes sense for me to form a business alliance with a photographer and/or caterer since they are both, at least partially, in the wedding business as well.

Strategic marketing alliances are particularly important as they relate to niche businesses. Niche businesses operate largely by word of mouth, and if that word of mouth suggestion comes from another professional in a related industry or field, it will lend credibility to your own business. Small businesses partnering together will help ensure a future where niche markets and small companies continue to be a success.
About the Author
Christian Fea is CEO of Synertegic, Inc. A strategic Collaboration Marketing consulting firm empowering business owners to discover and implement Integration, Alliance, and Joint Venture marketing tactics to solve specific business challenges. christian@synertegic.com
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