Making big profits in small markets

Even though most businesses want everyone to be their customer, this is not necessarily the right approach to making a profit. Instead, it is often best to think small in order to get big. To maximise your sales and profits, businesses should start narrowing their market to get a niche.

Focusing in on a small sub-set of all potential customers seems dangerous. Why limit the pool of customers when it might already be small? But having a well-defined, narrow target market – a niche – gives a small business many advantages.

Choosing a niche means finding something that immediately distinguishes you from your competitors. Having a niche immediately sets you apart from the mass of competitors; gives you a clear focus for your marketing and advertising efforts; gives you additional credibility when you’re trying to make a sale; makes you more memorable and often enables you to charge higher prices.

So how do you choose a niche? Keep in mind that a niche must be based on objective factors – things that customers can quickly perceive. Consider the following:

Demographic group
Selecting a specific demographic group gives you an edge in attracting a certain segment of customers. They feel welcome doing business with you. Over time, you develop specialised knowledge of that market, giving you an even greater competitive advantage.

Type of work
Another way to select a niche is to focus in on a specific aspect of the work you do. Focusing in on what your business does gives focus to your marketing efforts and can even make owners more competitive in securing customers.

Choosing a specific style of service or product is another way to develop a niche. A restaurant could serve only organic food, a furniture store sell only all-wood furniture, a car wash only wash cars by hand. These styles all narrow your potential market but improve your competitiveness with the customers who value your style of business.

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