Small business owners and direct sellers are lucky in that they have a major advantage over large corporate businesses: small businesses don’t have to be all things to all people.  In a big business’s effort to reach a very large audience, there are several groups of people whose needs are being left unmet.  This is where you come in; by defining and marketing to your niche, you will be able to focus on those needs and build a successful business.

  • Evaluate your products/services for unique qualities.  Consider something you already offer to market in an original way, or create a new product or service completely based on something you already have.  For example, if your business sells cookware, consider marketing a few pieces together with some recipes aimed at busy adults who need a “one-pot meal” for quick prep and easy clean-up.  Something like this might appeal to both working and stay-at-home moms because both would benefit from such a convenience.
  • Do some target marketing.  Marketing to your niche may require some education, especially with unique products and services.  Some may not even know that such a niche exists or that they might have a need for it.  Focus your marketing efforts on educating potential consumers about the product or service in general, and then demonstrate how you can meet that need.  Some examples to get you started can be found here.
  • Set clear objectives.  What do you hope to achieve in your business by creating a niche market?  You may want to expand your customer base, increase your network, cut your marketing costs, or raise your profits.  Make sure your goal is concrete and your efforts directing toward achieving it.
  • Test-market and size up the competition.  You will need to know how you stack up against any potential competitors.  In order to assess your competition, collect and analyze some of their products/services, brochures, print ads, websites, social media pages, etc.  You should be comparing elements such as pricing, marketing strategy, and customer service.
  • Speak the right language.  As with any type of marketing, niche marketing requires you to speak a common language with potential customers. Going back to the cookware example, when targeting that working mom, you are going to appeal to her needs by using words and ideas she can relate to.  These words and ideas will be somewhat different from those used to appeal to the stay-at-home mom.  For example, you might paint a picture for the working mom of what her typical day is like and how your product will make it easier; the full-time mom will have a very different mental picture, even though the product and need are the same.

Being able to focus your business efforts on niche markets, you will be able to reduce your overhead costs and acquire a new customer and networking base.  How have you used niche markets to build your business?  Please share your strategies and ideas below!