To niche or not to niche? I’ve been asked this question so many times over the past few months. This is why I decided to make Episode 62 of the Business & Life Conversations Podcast a solo episode with me, Angela, where I share with you my knowledge and own experience in nicheing for business. It’s not a fast and easy process so you’ll need to be armed with information on why, how and when you should niche, which I will be discussing. I will also be sharing with you the benefits of nicheing, the problems you may encounter and the 2 stages of business you need to go through in order to niche effectively. So, if nicheing has been on your mind or plans – you’ll definitely want to join me in this episode.
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Prefer to read To Niche or Not to Niche? Here’s the transcript:
You’re listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast with Angela Henderson, Episode 62.
Hey there, you’re listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast. My name is Angela Henderson and on this show, we talk about improving your business, life or both. By having amazing and rich conversations with brilliant guests who will inspire you and who will give you tips and tricks to help you grow both in life and in business.
Well, hey there folks and welcome back to another awesome episode of the Business and Life Conversations Podcast. I am your host, Angela, from Angela Henderson Consulting, where I’m a business consultant helping women in business shift from being stuck, overwhelmed and working in their business to coaching and supporting businesswomen to gain clarity, strategy, and systems to grow successful six-figure businesses and beyond.
Now, today is going to be a solo episode because I’ve been getting asked this one question weekly, for the last few months. And I thought, “Hey if so many people have this question, there are probably others out there that have the same question.” That question I’m talking about is, “To niche or not to niche?” This is a question that business owners are constantly faced with; let’s be honest, all the time; something in the back of our head, because why we hear about it all the time – in Facebook Groups, at events, communities, having lunch with our friends; it’s around. To niche or not to niche?
Now, you see, niching down is great for so many reasons, especially around stabling yourself as a natural choice in a narrow field. But niching too early or choosing the wrong niche can almost make it super difficult to get traction; potentially lose your entire business. And yes, so much other ripple effect can come from that if you choose the wrong niche or if you niche too quickly. We’ll talk more about this later in the episode.
But before we get into that, and for the purposes of this episode, and in case for those listening have never heard the word niche, I just want to define it so that we’re all on the same page for this episode. Niching down, from a traditional marketing book’s definition, means having a clear focus on who your ideal target market otherwise known as your ideal client is and aligning your market to match this customer. When you decide to niche down, this also means that you are no longer talking to the masses but you’re rather talking to individuals. There can be a niche for almost anything. For example, of Facebook Ad Specialist, it might be a Facebook Ad Specialist for e-commerce-based businesses versus being a Facebook Ad Specialist to service-based businesses. Or, if you’re a copywriter, you may be a copywriter for real estate versus being a copywriter to everyone and anyone under the sun. I’m sure you’re starting to get the idea about how you could niche down.
But I thought I’d also share with you what this looked like for me when I first started my first business, Finlee and Me, almost nine years ago. And for those that don’t know, Finlee and Me was an e-commerce platform. And naturally, I started off by buying any type of kid toys; plastic, wood, etc. that were popular. However, since my customers could go and buy a lot of these toys that I initially start out with, in all major department stores, I knew I needed to niche down further because I was competing with these bigger brands. I wasn’t going to be around long if I kept doing this.
So what I did was I really assessed and reflected on my ideal client. And then, I started selling toys that allowed kids to work on fine motor skill development, gross motor skill development, to spark their imagination, assist with colour recognition, and so much more. Our motto for Finlee and Me was, ‘Creating childhood memories through play love & travel.’ By niching down, people knew my products were focused more on educational benefits; high-quality products I was providing. But also, was super important to me that these products was helping to create long-lasting childhood memories. Products that they couldn’t get in the major department stores. And because of this, I started to stand out.
But it took time for me to stand out. I needed to learn. I needed to assess. Let me repeat that. It took time. So what really shits me off is when people give advice about niching down and they don’t even know the person’s business. And as a result, this is so freaking dangerous. Why? Because I feel, in order to niche down, you must understand what stage of business you’re in. And if you niche too quickly like I mentioned above, you can kill your business. Because you’ve niched too fast before you’ve had a chance to test and bring in money.
Let me explain. If you’re just starting out in business, you’re in a stage I called, survival mode. Pretty much, all you care about is staying afloat. You are testing everything and anything. It’s in this stage that you’re trying to figure out what products work and don’t work. Just like I did with Finlee and Me, but also what I’ve done with Angela Henderson Consulting. As I mentioned above, it was through testing through Finlee and Me, assessing my audience, that I started to figure out what jelled with them and what didn’t; how I could start specializing.
Another example, with my current business, Angela Henderson Consulting, as a Business Consultant, when I started over three years ago, I started working with a variety; let me just tell you, a variety of businesses; both male and female. Because my main goals was about not only generating income but also gaining experience. And it’s through both of these experiences and only through these experiences that I was then able to assess and reflect what was working, honing in on my ideal client even more; understanding what brought me joy when selling products or working with people. And from this, I was able to then go into a stage I call the growth stage.
It’s in the growth stage when you have money coming in; you’re not as stressed, you’re not as overwhelmed, that you’re starting to see what products or services are selling. You’re not under the pump as much. You start to find your rhythm. And it’s then that I believe that you can start to niche down further than you were in the survival stage. You can now afford to start to specialize. Why? You want to niche down further and further in this journey because it helps you identify your audience and it helps your audience to equally identify you. Now, not to mention, when you start to niche down, the benefits you’ll start to see in your business are absolutely endless.
Here are a few benefits that I’ve seen from niching down with both of my businesses. Benefit number one when you niche is clarity. Let’s be honest, we all need clarity in order to really grow our business. So by niching down, you’re going to be able to see clearly who you want to serve and how you want to do it. And once you know this, you’ll be able to define very specific target markets, the needs and not just better; from a personalized solutions-focused needs, but just collectively better. Not to mention, you’ll be able to really create a tight strategy plan to move your business forward. In addition, this clarity will guide you in your everyday tasks from content creation, to creating sales funnels, copyrighting, to product development, and so much more. Benefit number one when you niche down is clarity.
Benefit number two that I’ve found over the years is that marketing becomes a lot easier because you will be able to attract the right people and repel the others; resulting in being able to help more of the right people while at the same time, you won’t be wasting money or marketing to those people who don’t need your product or service. Benefit two, marketing becomes a lot easier.
Now, benefit three, which is leading, too, from the marketing is they become more profitable. When you have a particular niche, it is easy to fulfil your customers’ wants and needs because you’re speaking to them and not to the masses. You become the specialist in your field. And from this, profitability increases. It’s these three benefits: clarity, marketing and profitability that happened pretty much in the exact same way for both businesses.
With Angela Henderson Consulting, when I decided I was out of the survival stage and into the growth stage; I was able to niche down. I gained the clarity I needed about my target audience. And from this, I was able to create the correct long-term strategy, which included my marketing needs. And from both of these, I was able to increase my pricing, which led to an increase of my overall profitability. So you might be out there and go, “Okay, great. This is really great, Anj. You’ve talked about the benefits. You’ve talked about some of the problems. You’ve talked about how there are survival stage and growth stage. But if I really want to start looking at my own business, what can I do?”
And here’s the thing. Just like the saying goes, “There are a million ways to skin a cat.” And I, too, believe, there are a million different ways to niche down because each business is unique. It needs to be looked at from an individualized perspective. And this is why, again, it shits me when people out there, “You must niche. You must do this. You must do this,” because individuals are unique. You need to spend time to understand the business. It’s exactly what I do when I coach my women in business, my one-to-one coaching and my group coaching with profit pillars; is that we have to get to know them individually. Because what works for one group of people to niche may not work for the other.
But what I will say is this. You won’t find your niche by googling, researching, thinking or googling even more. You’ll find it by doing. You’ll find your niche by testing. Test, test, and test some more. The fastest way to find your niche; get into action. Now, you may have heard the saying, “You can’t be all things to all people,” and this is especially true when it comes to your business.
I want to give you an example. Think about it this way; if you were told you had cancer today, not just any cancer; let’s just say bowel cancer. Would you want to go to see your GP for this treatment or would you want to go and see the exact type of cancer doctor; a bowel doctor specialist in order to be able to help you? You’re probably going to go with the bowel specialist people. They become niche down in their target market. They know exactly what they’re doing. They are then able to charge more because they have expertise; this particular bowel or right treatment, etc. that they need to do. That’s who the hell you want to see.
Now, I know that was a morbid example but I hope that this puts it into context. So yes, niching is powerful but at the right time. No, I’m not saying you don’t want to have some idea about what you’re niche looks like when you start. And no, I’m not saying you don’t need to work out who your ideal client is. These are some of the conversations that I have with my clients early, early on; in meeting one, meeting two. Because this is very important developing your business; in growing your business. What I am saying is understand that niching evolves over time. It looks different depending on where you’re at in business. And as the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Same thing with your niche. You’re not going to find it in a day either. It evolves over time.
So for those of you out there trying to understand, “Should you niche or not niche?” I hope this has helped you to gain a little bit more insight about where you’re at in business, what the benefits are, and how you too can start handling, “To niche or not to niche?”
But before we sign off, please remember that my team and I will also be putting together the whole transcription for this episode at angelahenderson.com.au. And of course, I cover all sorts of related business and life topics inside my Facebook community, The Australian Business Collaborative, up close to 6,000 amazing community members. So head over to Facebook and search, Australian Business Collaborative, to join us today. I’m wishing you all a fabulous day and I look forward to you joining me next week for another amazing episode of the Business and Life Conversations Podcast. Have an awesome day everyone. Bye.
Thanks for listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast with Angela Henderson, To Niche or Not to Niche. www.angelahenderson.com.au