Please Niche!

Why? Because you CANNOT Sell Everything to Everybody

As an e-store designer, working with the emerging class of budding entrepreneurs, I specialize in helping these new estore owners succeed. However, one of the most common errors I see in this new crop of shop owners is in their range of goods for sale. Often they have a mix of products suitable for a variety store as opposed to a themed store carrying related products.

Big error in planning, I say.

I maintain a successful business - any and every business - must have a clear vision of what they are marketing and to whom they will sell to in the current economic climate.

Few shoppers want to shop in a venue that offers lots of unrelated stuff, but rather want to buy from the experts in the field. Witness the demise of Woolworths and Sears. Great yesterday. Gone now.

When you set up your business to appeal to everyone, it ends up appealing to no one because you are a small fish in a big pond. No one is going to notice you with all the other noise out there. You’ll get lost in a sea of bigger, more established businesses and experts.

So think this out clearly.

Every business should have a target audience, a group of customers who most benefit and accept the product or service you are offering. Within these target audiences are also smaller subgroups.

They share certain characteristics, and have specific wants, needs, and preferences. These smaller subgroups are called niches, and are a rich source of marketing opportunities.

A niche market does not necessarily mean a small market, but does involve specifically targeted audiences with a specialized offering, allow YOU to be a Big Fish in a small pond.

To make it work for you, know your niche. Thoroughly understanding your market means you can identify the unique needs of your potential audience, provide new and compelling products, tailor your products in the right way, communicate efficiently with the target group and identify how you will position against your competitors. Rather than equate niche with “small,” think “refined.”

Why niche marking works:

Less Competition

One of the benefits of a niche market is having little or no competition. When you have a highly specific product or service, there will be less companies out there with the exact same offering.

The more specific your product or service, the less companies there will be to compete with for customers.

Just keep in mind, make sure there is a significant audience eligible to buy your product. Do your research.

Brand Loyalty Built Through Strong Relationships

Niche marketing makes it possible for businesses to build their brand loyalty. When you are engaging with fewer people, you can focus on the quality of those engagements and on nurturing your relationships.

And as you are building your products and services specifically around this customer’s needs, you are a true partner rather than a supplier.

Spending Less on Marketing and Advertising

Marketing to a niche audience makes it easier for you to save on your marketing dollars.

Instead of taking a shotgun approach to marketing, i.e. the more-is-better philosophy of gaining the attention of the largest possible crowd in the hope it will encourage purchase, marketing to a niche audience can be highly targeted and therefore more cost effective.

Higher Profit Margins

Niche businesses are often a high margin business. Customers don’t mind, or necessarily realise, they are paying a little extra because they are only able to get that service, from that company, or under its brand.

You are the Expert

When your business has a specific niche market, you are seen as the expert in your field, the ‘go-to’ for the right answers.

It’s difficult to be an expert in everything, but when you specialize in a niche market, you can define your skills and expertise in one area, attracting those who need your specific services.

In summary, narrow your focus, find your real buyers, and swim happily to the bank.

Written by Donna Powell, Founder: Charleston Webbuilder