If you really want to learn how to start a business or grow your own business of almost any kind, my first suggestion as a business owner is to niche down hard (ie. pick a very specific service offering/target audience).
Integrating this into your initial business plan will greatly benefit your small business in the long run.
As a solopreneur, choosing a niche is important in order to create a successful business.
Picking a niche allows you to focus your efforts on a specific target audience, which will in turn lead to better results.
When it comes to choosing a niche, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
First, consider what you are passionate about. What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing?
It is important to choose a niche that is not too saturated. If there are already a lot of businesses offering the same thing you are, it will be difficult to stand out. On the other hand, if there is not enough interest in your niche, it will be difficult to make any sales.
The best way to find out if there is a demand for what you want to offer is to do some market research. This can be done by conducting surveys, interviews, or focus groups. Once you have gathered some information, you will be able to make a more informed decision about niching down.
Why should you niche down?
Because the more narrow your niche, the easier it will be to find your specific target audience and create a really compelling offer to them.
If you’re a generalist ( eg. a full service lawyer), you’ll have a very broad service offering, you’ll need to become well-versed/educated in a lot of different areas of the law and have a hard time charging premium prices or creating targeted ads because your audience is… everyone?
Alternatively, you could specialize as a divorce lawyer. You now need to know one area of the law (family), you know exactly who your target market is (married men/women probably in their late 20s to 40s) and if you do a great job, will be known as “the divorce guy/gal” and get lots of referrals for the exact thing you’ve already mastered.
Think of all those advantages:
your work will be easier because you’re doing a similar process over and over
you know exactly who to market to
because of that ^, you can create better advertising, likely for cheaper
referrals will come more naturally
you can charge more as an expert!!!
As an aside, it took me about 5-6 months to find my very narrow niche when I started my firm last year so don’t worry if you’re not there yet. In fact if you don’t have one yet, you should be excited at the opportunity to pick one.
How finding my niche impacted my business
Once I did find my niche, my revenue started going up fairly quickly (it was very low until then as I tested different niches).
Anyway, if growing your revenue is currently a goal of yours, do a quick check – are you niched down enough or offering very general services?
Let me go into some more detail on how I started out and then found my niche…
For the first few months after I started my immigration law practice, I didn’t have a niche and just trying to communicate with potential customers was hard because I didn’t know enough about each area of immigration law.
After about 3 months of struggling, I narrowed my target market down to 2 potential niches:
1) Permanent Resident (PR) applications for skilled workers looking to move to Canada
2) Helping Canadian companies sponsor tech workers through work permit applications
Why did I pick those?
Because they were newer programs implemented by the government, very popular, all applications could be submitted online (easier than paper applications) and the tech scene in Canada is currently booming (remember, don’t throw darts in the dark here… consider the market/pros/cons before picking a niche).
Also, notice how specific those 2 niches are…
After 1 month of testing out and trying to sell those 2 – because again, the fewer niches the better – it became clear that there were more companies willing to pay for those services (niche #2) than individuals looking to pay for PR services (niche #1).
So I niched down hard with option #2 and:
I noticed there was no content on Youtube talking about this new program, so I put up a hand full of videos that lead to about 1-2 leads a month
I did highly targeted LinkedIn outreach because I knew my customers would be Canadian tech companies big enough to sponsor foreign tech workers
I saved time communicating with potential customers because by then, I knew the program inside-and-out since it was the only work I was doing
I started getting referrals because when a customer’s friend asked about the program, I was “the guy they used” so they passed me on
Anyway, don’t want to beat a dead horse here but I did want to give you a real-life example of how niching down played out for me. To be honest, it may have been the single biggest reason for my current success.
But anyway, that’s it for today. Make sure you’re either niched down enough or at the very least, testing out a few potential niches, and see what it does for your new business in the next 2-3 months.