[tweetmeme]Start with a niche, and then move to dominate.
When you start in business, your goal should be to become the best provider of that product or service. Your strategies should be focused towards getting customers to buy your products — and making them come back again and again while spreading the word out about your business.
If you have limited resources, however, it will be hard to effectively serve a huge marketplace. It will be easier to focus and serve a smaller segment of your target market, but making sure that you become the best.
The key to achieving this is through focusing on a niche. A niche is often a small segment where you fulfill buyers’ distinctive preferences, special requirements or unique needs. Focusing on your niche will allow your business to do a better job of serving the target market niche than your competitors.
There are a number of important considerations in choosing a niche, foremost of which includes:
- A need must exist and the market must be willing to pay for the solution
- The niche has to be big enough to be profitable
- It must have good growth potential
- It should not be crucial to success of major competitors
- Number of competitors already vying for this niche
- You need to have the resources to effectively serve this niche
- Your ability to stave off competitors and protect your market share
However, focusing on a niche does not mean that your business needs to be forever small. In fact, you can stay in your niche and then slowly expand in conquering other niches in that market. Soon, you can dominate that market.
Guy Kawasaki said it best in his book “The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything” when he wrote:
As a startup, you’re going to start a fire with matches, not flamethrowers. Few startup organizations can afford or manage a flamethrower. In other words, put one niche in your basket, hatch it, put another niche in your basket, hatch it … and soon you’ll have a whole bunch of niches that add up to market domination.
When you have limited resources, it is more prudent to start slow but sure. And niche marketing is one way to do this.