I wish I understood the importance of a market niche 15 years ago as well as I do now because it would have saved me a lot of time, money and energy. More importantly, it would have made me way more money.
For the first 5 years of my business, whenever someone asked me what kind of catering I did, I would automatically respond, everything. I mean who wouldn’t want a caterer that could do Italian, Caribbean, and American classics all with great flare? Actually most people would indeed love that, however, most people don’t trust it. Even I don’t trust it. I did get every type client. I catered for film shoots, corporate events, baptisms, and private dinners. But Nothing was sticking. I wasn’t known for anything.
As a perpetual learner, after countless seminars and conferences, I came upon the idea of a niche. I understand the importance of defining your market niche first. And, I make sure to incorporate it as part of my R.O.A.R. (Reach, Organize, Act & Realize Coaching) programs. As you develop your business strategies, it’s important to understand the value of a niche: the concept of serving a very specific group of individuals within a wider market or population.
In business, when we speak of niche, we simply mean “what segment of the population do you serve”. Niche is what separates a General M.D. and a Cardiologist. It is what separates Lululemon from the next workout gear and it’s what’s going to separate your baking business, your event planning company, your consulting practice, and your floral business from others.
Rather than being a gym that serves people who want to get fit, Planet Fitness says, we are a gym for the person that knows nothing about fitness. It’s the web designer saying, I will be a web designer that services creatives who want to stand out. Do you lose people? Yes! But trust me, it is people you probably don’t need anyway. It would probably be that 20% of your customer base, that caused you 80% of your pain. It’s all because you don’t know the importance of defining your market niche
The gym equipment you need to service top athletes, crossfitters, newbies, and seasoned gym rats, are completely different and it would cost you way more money to accommodate everyone. I have a friend that gets very upset every time he steps into Planet Fitness (PF) because they mainly have smith machines, and he is looking for a “real workout”, that he feels PF doesn’t provide. I have another friend, who loves PF because most other gym intimidates her. She doesn’t know how to use the free weights. My seasoned gym rat friend found a happy home at Crunch gym, while she’s happy and thriving at PF.
Niching is the way to go. It is the best way to establish your authority, get tons of clients looking for exactly what you provide and it allows you to focus your marketing to get better results.
Benefits of Finding Your Niche
Here are the benefits of understanding the importance of defining your market niche
Provides Marketing Focus
A niche allows you to get crystal clear on who you serve. In my case, once I understood that I wanted to serve high end social and corporate clients that wanted to offer ethnic cuisine from the Caribbean with a global feel, I was able to zero in on that target audience. I knew where to find them (Caribbean lawyers and doctors associations), Classmates from the Black Students Associations/Caribbean Associations from my Alma Mater, Corporations, and institutions looking to offer their employees something different for their holiday parties or picnics, Munaluchi Bride Magazine that caters to ethnic brides and multicultural weddings. Niching providing me laser focus that allowed me to develop a marketing strategy specifically for that target audience and I knew where to find them.
This is one of the major reason why understanding the importance of defining your market niche is an important business lesson.
Once you establish your niche your close rate will increase significantly. You will only target those clients that fit within your niche, and in turn, the clients that reach out to you will be the ones you want to hook.
Experts get Paid
Let’s get back to the cardiologist. If you are having heart issues, would you choose to pay $100 per hour to see a general practitioner or a cardiologist at $200 per hour, who specializes in nothing but heart issues? As much as you may hate spending that extra $100 per hour, most likely if you care about your heart, you will pay the extra money. Aim to become the cardiologist in your field. Be the expert that someone needs and they will pay whatever you command because they need you. Your service/product speaks to directly to what ails them. Trainers do ok. But a trainer that specifically focuses on new moms who just gave birth, can command a much higher price tag. They come with an understanding of the pains of being a new mom (time issues, hormonal issues, etc.)
The questions you need to ask yourself to establish a strong and targeted niche are:
- What product/service/skills do you offer?
- Who you do you offer them to?
- What are the specific pain points for the individuals you serve?
- How does your product/service sell these issues?
- How do you leave your client/customer feeling after servicing them?
- What sets you apart from your competitors? What’s unique about the way you solve the issue?
- What aspects of the solution your provide are you passionate about?
The answers to these questions will be key because they will help you determine your niche market. As a business or life coach, I could have chosen to serve any and everyone, who is looking to create a breakthrough in their business and lives. But the final question, in particular, helped me realize I wanted to service entrepreneurs because I have been there. I have learned so much, and I get such satisfaction helping entrepreneurs, get going and get thriving!
In closing, saying everyone is your client, has the same effect as saying no one is your client. Nothing will stick in people’s mind about you or your service once you are not in their presence. Don’t fear losing out on potential clients that most likely don’t align with your vision and passion anyways. Focus on catering to the demographic that excites you. The ones that align with your skills and passion. It may be a smaller pool, but the targeted approach will be well worth it.
Are you struggling to define your niche?
- Understand the importance of a target audience
- Define your target audience demographics
- Define your target audience psychographics
- Know how to research your target audience
- Know what marketing strategies to implement based on your target audience
- Create a customer avatar
All in all, understand the importance of defining your market niche can be more favorable in terms of your business success and profitability.