As I work with small business owners, I am convinced that building a small business niche is the only way to success. In this March issue of The Small Business Tool Box, I share my beliefs about small business niche building. My own thoughts continue to evolve in a direction that say, Niche building is the only road to small business profits!
Your customers have changed their buying habits
Today, customers are better informed. They have better education. The internet has made them more informed. Some people buy items from the internet; but many more use the internet to get information before they buy on the street.
We live in an age of customization, again dominated by the internet. People want things. They want it their way. They want it now. Did you know that you can custom order a car and have it delivered in two weeks? What do you think about the furniture dealers that still say it takes 6-8 weeks to get your furniture? They are a dinosaur!
Our buying culture is being dominated by big retailers, Home Depot, Wal Mart, Sams Club and other national chains in various forms. They dominate both price and product selection.
Today, people buy products and services differently. You and your family buy differently. Customers have multiple buying options. This has a dramatic effect on small business profits.
Old solutions no longer work!
In the past, small business owners used a variety of solutions to make themselves successful in the market place. Ask yourself if they are working today?
Small business owners have used mass media advertising to get in front of their customers. Radio, mailers, TV, Cable TV, newspapers were popular. Today these media are effectively dead for small businesses!
Year ago, you could have been the small neighborhood store that everyone knew about and used for their shopping. People no longer lives in those types of neighborhoods!
Passion for your business and personalized services were competitive tools used by small business owners. Big business could never match the zeal of a small business owner. What happens if you are never given a chance to show your service and passion for the business? Heres what is happening in the flooring industry.
People who purchased carpet at Home Depot were interviewed. They asked, Why did you shop at Home Depot? Most people said they would prefer shopping at a smaller store to get better service. But where are these stores? And if you find one, how do you know it is any good?
Home Depot is convenient. Its on the way to work. You can be there getting plumbing supplies and stop to look at carpet at the same time. You know they have good prices because they advertise them everywhere!
Whats the Answer?
As good as these tools were in the past, they are not good enough to compete in todays market place.
There is a strategy that can be used successfully in todays market place. It is called small business Niche Building. Find your own special spot in the market place and go there. If you try to be all things to all people, you become all things to no people!
Niche building flows from four fundamental principles:
1. By narrowing your business focus, you create more business.
2. You must become an expert in at least one area of your business.
3. Customers find you when you are an expert in a one business area.
4. Price is not an issue in a small business niche.
When you apply these principles to your business operations, you will see the magic that can happen with small business niche building. Your business will be transformed; you will be transformed with new energy. This is an exciting solution to todays crowded market place.
In the next issue of The Small Business Tool Box, I will give more details about how niche building leads to small business profits. For now, I welcome your comments, insights and feedback on the topic of small business niche building. Send me an e-mail at [email protected]
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