Without a niche, your business will fail.

OK, your business might not fail without a niche. But. At the very least, your business will be light years from its true potential. Doesn’t that make you said? It makes me very sad.

What is a niche?

For a web designer and niche might be designing websites for real estate agents. Another possible niche for web designers would be to focus on a particular type of project. For example, you might design and implement website marketing strategies for law firms.

A niche is something to differentiate your web design company (or whatever business you own) from all the generalists out there.

Most failing businesses have no niche. Entrepreneurs without a niche will talk about their businesses like this:

  • We help everyone.
  • No job is too small for us.
  • We know how to fix everything.
  • If you have a problem we can fix it.

What if you don’t have a niche?

Without a niche, you are a commodity. It is a sad place to be.

Don’t worry, not all is lost. You can develop a niche for your business. Any business can have a niche, even yours. The most important thing you must think about as you develop your niche is this:

What type of service can I provide that is significantly better than generalists provide?

Niches are defined by (In this case we are talking about web design company niches):

  • Industry/Vertical – Legal, Nonprofit, Real Estate, Medical, Construction
  • Technology – WordPress, Joomla, PHP/MySQL, Drupal, Woocommerce
  • Specialty – E-commerce, SEO, content marketing, graphic design, logo design, PHP programming, conversion optimization, UX

Once you develop a niche for your business you will find that:

#1 – Your business is now moving in one direction

Let me explain. When your business is moving in one direction you have what most businesses don’t have.

That one thing is FOCUS.

Niche gives you focus. Focus wins every time.

Back to our web designer example above. Without a niche, you are just another web designer. But, when you have a niche you are the expert. When you have a clearly defined niche generalists will be unable to compete against you.

Is it possible to have multiple niches?

Yes, but you will have less focus. As a result, you will have a less effective marketing strategy. For example, if you have three niches you will need 3 times the time and resources. As a result of multiple niches, you will spread your marketing focus too thin.

#2 – It is best to start with 1 niche

It is OK to add a second niche once you dominate your first niche. But, don’t try to become the master of multiple niches simultaneously.

#3 – Understand your business niche

For example, as a web designer, you might want to specialize in building websites for attorneys and dentists. Guess what, lawyers and dentists have very different needs. Therefore, the websites and marketing needs are very different too.

If you want to develop websites for attorneys, you must understand:

  • What are the most effective attorney or law firm websites are?
  • What are the best performing attorney websites?
  • What are the marketing possibilities for attorneys?
  • What works best for attorney websites?
  • What are attorney website best practices?

#4 – Create your target customer avatar

Let’s say you decided that you will build websites for law firms.

Is that specific enough?

No.

You need to be more specific with defining your niche.

Consider the following as you zero in on your niche:

  • The maturity of the business. Do you want to build websites for attorneys just starting out? Do you want to build websites for established law firms?
  • The size of the law firm. Do you want to build websites for single law practitioners? Do you want to build websites for law firms with ten or more attorneys
  • It is important to define the location for your niche. Do you want to design websites for attorneys in San Diego, CA? Or, do you want to design websites for attorneys in Los Angeles, CA?
  • Focus on attorney specialty. Do you want to build websites for family law attorneys, estate attorney, personal injury attorneys, or business attorneys?

#5 – Make sure the niche can afford your services

If you develop a niche to build websites for brand new real estate agents, you will find that most of them will not have the budget to pay for a professionally designed website.

The key here is to understand the price of your offerings. Only then, can you make sure that your target market will be able to pay your fees?

#6 – You should not begin lead generation until you have a niche

Only after you have selected your niche can you define your target customer. Create a customer avatar of the perfect customer.

To get back to the above attorney niche example, your customer avatar might look like this:

  • Family law attorneys.
  • Located in San Diego, CA.
  • The firm must have at least two attorneys.
  • The law firm must have been in business for at least five years.

Only once you have the above information can you start marketing to your niche. Once you defined your customer avatar, you can begin lead generation.

#7 – When you have a niche you save money

It is less expensive to market to a well-defined niche. It is easier to train your staff to market and sell a specific niche.

You will spend less money and time when you market to a specific niche.

A specific niche will simplify training. It will also improve your conversion rate.

 

 

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George Meszaros is the editor and co-founder of Success Harbor where entrepreneurs learn about building successful companies. Success Harbor is dedicated to document the entrepreneurial journey through interviews, original research, and unique content. George Meszaros is also co-founder of Webene, a web design and digital marketing agency.