Find Your Niche Market Part 2
November 3, 2003
What Are You?
By: Linda Leigh Francis
In terms of your customer base, you are considered broad-based if everyone is your customer. In contrast, you have a narrow, or differentiated competitive position, if you strive to meet the needs of a very specific, narrow, customer base.
Pricing also determines your competitive position. You can position yourself by pricing at the least expensive level, the most expensive, or something in-between. This depends upon what services you provide and to which customer.
For instance, if you are broad-based and inexpensive, your customers may be both residential and commercial and your low prices close the deal. Alternatively, like my remodeling client, if you are in a narrow niche with higher prices, you may work with only high-end residential customers and your expertise closes the deal.
When you have an idea where you are, compare yourself with your competition. Are you in a niche filled with lots of other businesses? If so, see if there are any unmet needs in your community and position yourself there.
For example, insurance or restoration work might be a possibility. It is a narrow niche that requires knowing specialized information, working with insurance companies, and coping with distressed customers. As margins are higher here, this may be a good, narrow based, higher priced competitive position for you to explore. Or, if business is booming in your area, it may be a good time to focus on commercial work; a cost-based, narrow niche.
Take the time to reposition yourself in the niche you want. Instead of trying to take everything that comes your way, be choosy. Then give your chosen customers “knock your socks off” service. Don’t be just another business that tried to do everything for everyone. Be the business of choice in your niche.
Linda Francis teaches workshops and seminars on business management and it the author of Run Your Business So It Doesn’t Run You. For information on her seminars or to order her book, call 707-485-0162, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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