Niche, niche, niche, niche!
I'm sure you've heard it a million times before, whether it's from a business coach, a business book, a business magazine, a workshop, a seminar you attended, a podcast... You have heard it over and over again, probably ad nauseam, that you need to niche if you are going to get your business off the ground and start to create a successful enterprise.
However, if you're like most small businesses, the concept is terrifying, right? And I'll be honest with you, a lot of people that tell you to niche don't even really understand why you need to niche. They're just passing it on because they know you need to niche.
So I want to spend a little bit of time with you to really get you to understand why it's so important to niche. It's a big subject.
When I'm working with business owners, typically, this is really early on. Maybe they're launching their business, maybe they're in their first year of business. Sometimes, actually, they are multiple years down the line before they really start to think like this.
But, if you're going to break that 100k plus and create a successful business, you're probably going to have to niche in order to get there. So I want to share with you a compelling reason why you might want to niche in your business.
First of all, I understand it is scary as a proposition. I get it - I understand your fears, the fears that you're going to lose some of the clients you already get. You might not have a big portfolio of clients already, etc, I get all of that. Now, that's a big conversation and it's something I go into in my longer workshops, my longer webinars and my sessions, where I go into more detail about that.
Today, it’s a short video just to really put a compelling case forward as to why, and hopefully demonstrate with the use of some graphics, why niching's such a good idea.
Okay, so first of all, my analogy is Poodles. Let's say you're a dog groomer. This is the example I always use, which is why I have these slides.
So, you're a dog groomer, and you understand you’ve got to stand out in the marketplace, and you understand that you need to be different otherwise why would anyone come to you? Especially if you're a new business.
If there's a dog groomer that's been out there for 5 or 10 years, with loads of case studies and testimonials, and you're just starting up as a dog grooming business, how the hell are you going to compete against that person? It’s really difficult because why would anyone use you?
It's a great question to ask, by the way. Why would anyone use you, over them?
In this example, I want you to imagine that you are a dog groomer, but you've got Poodles. You love Poodles. You've had Poodles your whole life and you really understand Poodles, right?
Rather than being a generic dog groomer, you say, "Right, you know what, I'm going to specialize in Poodles."
First thing you do is go out and do a little bit of market research. To make sure there's enough business out there in Poodles. Almost certainly there is.
So you say, “Right, okay. So there are 1 million dogs within a 10-mile radius,” or whatever it might be. On average, 2% of all dogs are a Poodle breed. Maybe pure Poodle. Maybe you do the labraDoodles and all the other Doodles. Typically, maybe 5% of those dogs come under the Doodle category, or 10% of those dogs, therefore, there are tens of thousands if not more dogs within 10-mile radius.
Therefore, “I don't need to worry about it. There is definitely enough of a market out there.” Don’t worry about the German shepherds. Don't worry about the Great Danes. “There are enough Poodles out there to keep me busy.”
As a one-man-band business starting up, or maybe even a 50, 60, 70K business down the line, “There's enough business out there for me.”
So you go in on Poodles and you start to say to people, “I do Poodles.” And what happens here is, through word of mouth and through your activity of only talking about Poodles, you start to really stand out to Poodle owners.
There is a chance - and I get the fear - there's a chance that the German Shepherd people will switch off because, you know, they are not into Poodles. But here's an interesting thing. If you do Poodles and you understand Poodles and you want to work with Poodles and Poodles are good business for you - and you've chosen that niche - you don't look like this.
So, imagine this is LinkedIn case studies. Imagine this is your website, case studies testimonials. Imagine this is your client base. It's all in there. From Huskies to Red Setters, to German Shepherds, to little pekes and all sorts...
If this is what your website looks like, you think you're putting off German Shepherd owners by only having Poodles, right? But what actually happens is, the market doesn't really see themselves in this either. So you're not actually attracting anyone in this moment. Does that make sense?
It's kind of a psychological issue more than a real tactical one. Imagine now that this is what your website looks like. And imagine this is what your LinkedIn case studies look like, your testimonials look like. Imagine this is what your posts on LinkedIn look like. Imagine this is what your social media activity looks like.
Yes, it's really likely that the German Shepherd owner is going to turn away. Guess what? They're probably turning away anyway. What will happen is that anyone that has a Doodle of any sort, assuming you are a Doodle specialist, will have you front of mind.
They may look at this company as well. There may be two or three in their local area. They may well look at this company. This company may have been around 10 years, loads of happy customers, which goes a long way if you've only had one, or you're starting out. But when you look like this, the Poodle owner cannot ignore you.
Here's what happens. The more Poodles you do - the more Doodles you do - the more experienced with Doodles you become, the more known you become for doing Doodles. The more you get set up for doing Doodles, then the more attractive you become to the Doodle people.
So what happens is, in a world where there's so much noise and there's so much competition, you start to stand out, albeit in one small bit, but you start to really stand out. You start to elevate.
What happens when businesses elevate their positioning? They become more in demand.
What happens when demand goes up? You either get to scale your business and/or you get to become more expensive. So, if someone says, £40 pound for a full doggy makeover here, £60 pound for what you do, and they turn around to you and say, “What makes you more expensive than them?” “Because this is all we do. I understand you. I understand your dog. I understand what you're trying to achieve.”
You're speaking the same language as them because they're a Doodle owner. They understand the difficulties that the hair has. It's not generic hair. It has different types of issues and problems. There are different combs. There are different shampoos. You understand - you're talking their language. You have a shared love of what they love. And clearly you are way more experienced.
You might be less experienced than this person overall, but you are clearly way more experienced with their specific problem, their issue, their Poodle, and therefore, you're a very attractive proposition.
Why are you more expensive? “Because this is all we do. We understand your problem. We understand your needs. We understand it.”
“These people...” (you don't put them down - this is subliminal) “These people are very generic. They do an okay job, I'm sure. We understand you, your issue, your problem, your desires. We get it.” And you demonstrate that through your website, through your social media channels, for your LinkedIn case studies and everything else, right?
Everything aligns, and very quickly you become the go-to place for Doodles. Then you get to grow your business. You get to become more expensive. You get more in demand. You elevate your position in the marketplace, rather than trying to compete with someone who's got 10 or 20 years in the same marketplace as you. They’ve got all that history. It's going to take you 10 or 20 years to catch them up! I mean, you might be able to get there in a bit less time, but it's going to take a lot of time.
What this does is, instead of trying to compete across the board, I pull one piece out. That's my bit. I'm going to own that. And I'm going to build my business around that. Down the line, guess what? You can scale up to this down the line. But the way you're going to elevate out is by becoming a Doodle specialist.
Obviously, whatever your equivalent is of dog grooming and specifically Poodle grooming apply that to your own business. This is why it's absolutely imperative that you niche. It's going to be the thing that allows you to position yourself in the marketplace so you can start to charge your worth. You can start to charge more for what you're doing, which is important.
As long as there's a good transaction, you're giving them value for money and everything else, you want to be charging more as a small business owner. You want to have a select client base that really respects what you do. A client base that you love doing what you do for. You have shared loves and shared values with them, etc.
This is how you're going to have more enjoyment in your business, and you're going to grow and scale your business.
So, stop being a generalist. Start being a specialist. The market will reward you for it. Your clients will reward you for it. Your future, your business, will all be rewarded for it.
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