Get Out of The Business You’re In!

 

What?! I know we’re supposed to be telling you the secret to finding success through frequency, consistency and accuracy, like we promised in our last blog post…and we will, we promise.

But before we get to that one secret, it’s crucial that you understand what business you should be in. 

Let’s take a look at an example.  Let’s say you were in the corporate video production business.  If you were like most corporate video production companies, you would do all the standard things that any good businesses would do to market themselves. You would attend marketing meetings, join some associations, start a website, use some pay per click ads, Facebook ads and maybe even do some direct mail.  And there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with any of that, actually it’s probably more than many businesses do, but the real problem is you’ll only ever get paid as much as people are willing to pay a corporate video production company.

It’s because you’re in the wrong business. You shouldn’t be in the business of video production, you should be in the business of being an expert on using video to convey your client’s message and build their business.  That’s a business that brings real value to the client, and you could charge a "value-based" fee, not just what everyone else is charging for video production.

This same exercise works in any business. If you’re trying to do business with other businesses, you have to add value to your offering by demonstrating to them how your product or service helps them grow their business as opposed to just supplying a product or service—you’ve got to go deeper to really provide value.  If you’re trying to do business direct to consumers, you have to help them achieve whatever it is they really want, not just provide a service to them, if you want to be able to maximize your skills and your income.

And if you want to create maximum value and double, triple or even quadruple the rate that you would normally make as just a "service provider," we have to get right back to that big secret we were supposed to reveal.

You’ve got to find a niche.

If you don’t choose a niche, you’re going to be lost at sea in a dinghy, without a motor.  The ocean is far too large a place to begin.  You’ve got to choose an audience that’s interested in what you have to offer, with a decent amount of concentration (i.e. can be found banded together in some place (real or virtual), based on geography, interests, necessities or affinities as an example) and that you can afford (time and money-wise) to create a channel of communication with.  That’s the real key.  It’s not that you couldn’t help many more people than any one specific niche, but if you want to have any real shot at market penetration on a reasonable budget, particularly when starting out, you’ve simply got to niche. 

Let’s look at an example:  If you are in the real estate business, assuming you have a license, you are most likely qualified to sell anyone in your state a home.  But, the issue is, how do you reach everyone?  It’s an impossible goal, and also a very difficult tag for your friends and family who want to refer you business, to put on your name in their "mental filing cabinet."  Working with "Everyone" is just way too broad.  The best way to get referrals is to literally ask for a referral by describing in accurate detail what your target prospect looks like. If you can describe this, people can likely conjure up someone in their mind who meets your description.  The more vague your description, the larger the pool someone has to draw up in their mind, and think of it this way: the more faces in the pool, the more blurry they are and the harder they are to see clearly. Your friend can’t give you a good referral if they can’t be clear on who to refer! Niches work the same way, you’ve got to be able to distinctly identify your niche.

So, back to our example, if you wanted to become successful at selling homes, you might niche down to working with first-time home buyers in a specific region (a city or area of town) that are looking to qualify for government assistance with their purchase.  In fact, we have a client who does exactly this and she makes a great living doing it!  The key is that it’s really easy to think of prospects for her.  Do you get the point?

By doing this, niche-ing down to a target market, you not only make it easier for people to identify whether they’d be a good fit for you, or know someone who would be, you also start to get identified as a specialist.  And as we all know from going to a general physician, versus a medical specialist, the specialist always makes more money—and often they get to work less too!

And the other great thing about niche-ing down is that the further you get into a specialty, the easier it is for you to focus on being great at it, and the harder it is for others to catch up to you.  If you can understand the competitive advantage that gives you, you’ll understand just how revolutionary this concept really is.

Another secret, is that you’ll notice we didn’t say that you could only play in one niche.  Quite the contrary. Once you’ve found success in one niche, you can afford to start penetrating other niches. The key is to never forget that what people really want is a specialist, so don’t get so comfortable in all your niches that you start portraying yourself as able to help everyone—or  you’ll end up right back where you started.  In order to keep focus on your specialty, you probably don’t want people to find out that you are involved in more than one niche up front, everyone thinks their issue is unique and they need a specialist to solve it, so let’s not ruin their bias, ok! We’ve got enough challenges to deal with when growing businesses that we don’t need to get into trying to change the psychology of the way people think!

Do you have any other examples of how you could get out of the business you’re currently in and niche down for more market penetration and profits? Share it with us in the comments or ask for our help, we’ll respond!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: JW Dicks (@jwdicks) & Nick Nanton (@nicknanton), lawyers by trade but entrepreneurs by choice, are best-selling authors that consult for small and medium sized businesses internationally on how to build their business through Personality Driven Marketing, Personal Brand Positioning, Guaranteed Media and Mining Hidden Business Assets. They offer free articles, blogs white papers and case studies to guests who visit their web site at http://www.DicksNantonAgency.com. Jack and Nick have been featured on NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX affiliates around the country, as well as in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Newsweek, FastCompany.com, and many more media outlets. If you're ready to take your business to the next level, get more FREE info now at http://www.DicksNantonAgency.com

 

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3 Comments

  • Mack

    Curt:

    Try picking the one thing you are best at, and focus solely on that. What is it that you do better at than anything else? Narrow your focus to just THAT one thing, and stick with it. Become the expert at it.

  • Curt Roese

    Another great article guys - look forward to reading your posts - always informative and thought provoking!

    I think many of us, especially when we have the background to go in many different directions, struggle with finding our passion, thus committing to a specific niche! Paralysis by analysis. Any thoughts on a good process to flush out and clarify the "niche" selection process.

    Thanks.

  • Mack

    I recently discovered your blog not long ago, and for me, this stuff is right on the money! I'm an electrical contractor down in Atlanta, and I can clearly see how this applies to my own business.

    Specializing works in many fields; contracting, real estate, hair care, restaurants...anyone can follow this advice and watch their business prosper!

    I'm taking your advice and niche-ing down in my own field. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks.

    Mack.