Developing A Niche For Your Business
Without a doubt businesses must be specialized. By specializing, entrepreneurs will differentiate themselves from everyone around them and as a result they will increase their business.
When developing a specialty for a business, entrepreneurs need to specialize in an area where there is a need, asking themselves what is the market hungry for. They must address a specific problem and solve it.
When entrepreneurs start a business they must get rid of the myth that when they are specialized they lose business by losing a wider audience. The truth is that specialized businesses attract more customers. Think about general dentistry versus an orthodontist or a general accountant versus an international accountant. Who do you think is charging more for their products or services? Specialties give entrepreneurs an opportunity to charge more, setting them apart from other businesses.
The idea behind specializing is finding what service or product you have interest, expertise and passion for. Once you have that figured out you are on the way to setting your business apart from the rest.
There is no doubt that specializing helps entrepreneurs to stand out, generating more opportunities. A good practice is to have a specialty with generalist capabilities in additional similar areas. You can have a bakery that specializes in pies but it also has cakes and cupcakes on the menu or a restaurant that specializes in seafood, but also has chicken and meat on the menu.
A few things entrepreneurs must think about when choosing a niche:
- Is there a need? Is the market hungry for what you are offering? Look and see if there are other people offering what you offer. Don’t be scared of the competition. Reality is that competition is healthy. It shows that people are willing to pay for that service or that product.
- Passion is important because it takes a lot of time and a lot of energy to specialize. You want to make sure there is a passion there that you understand it and are motivated to commit to that area.
- Write a checklist of things you have accomplished in life; projects that you have worked on and finished successfully.
- Speak to people that you know. Talk to them about what they think about you.
- Identify what people come to talk to you about? That may be an indication of something you might translate into a business.
- Developing an industry specialty takes time and dedication. It doesn’t happen overnight, but the effort you put into doing it will pay off tremendously in the long run.
In my years as a business consultant I have seen thousands of businesses and interviewed thousands of business owners, different industries, and many different approaches to grow or expand their businesses. A great percentage of them have a niche that takes them to where they want to be in sales. They focus on that niche, and believe and have a passion for it. Some of them got to it by trial and error and some of them because of the results of the marketing studies and industry trends.
My consultations start by asking entrepreneurs what their specialty or their niche is. Often I get an answer like I would like to serve everyone who is interested or I would like to sell to everyone on this planet – a common but wrong answer. So from now on, if you are an entrepreneur or you are planning to be one, think about the above insights before you dive in.
Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County Economic Development Department
Specialty: Construction Industry Regulations and Licensing, Contract Compliance, Strategic Planning
Janette Blanco has extensive knowledge in doing business with the government and specializes in assisting minority and women-owned businesses with the government bidding process. She also teaches workshops, provides one-on-one consulting assistance to business owners in English and Spanish, and does community outreach throughout South and East Tampa. Prior to joining the Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County, Blanco was a cost estimator on engineering projects as well as owned and operated her own business for 15 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Massachusetts. She is a Master Compliance Administrator, a Profit Mastery Facilitator, and certified in Strategic Management Performance Systems. Blanco earned Florida SBDC at USF Regional Consultant of the Year honors in 2016 and 2017. Blanco is also bilingual.