Business Owners: How to Create a Niche for Your Business

May 17, 2012 by  Filed under: Marketing 

Having a niche for your business means not having to compete on price. So if you wish to create a business that is as profitable as it can be in the market place you operate in, you must have, maintain and protect a niche for your business.

Creating a niche involves three key steps:

  1. Identifying your target market.
  2. Clearly articulating what will compel customers to buy from you.
  3. Taking the risk out of purchases.

Identifying a target market implies clearly defining a specific group of prospects who you believe to be most willing to purchase your product or service. That doesn’t mean you will never sell to anyone else, but that you will focus your marketing message towards that narrowly defined group.

If you are selling to individuals identifying who they are in terms of nationality, or geographical location, gender, age, marital status, income, children, interests, hobbies, reading habits, leisure activities, etc., etc. allows you to start thinking about what to talk to them about, where to place your marketing messages, why they will buy from you, how they will buy from you, how often, how much they may spend, where you will find them, when they are most likely to buy.

With this clearly defined it is much easier to design your marketing strategy, materials, budget and schedule. The more narrowly defined your target market the easier it is to communicate with them.

You may need to have more than one target market to have a large enough customer base, but this is better than spreading your net broadly and generally.

But what is it that will compel your target market(s) to buy from you? You may have a unique product or service, so as long as your potential customers know that they need it, that may not be a problem. However, for most businesses, what you sell can be bought from someone else just as easily. So why you? What is your USP?

Your USP is made up of three elements:

  1. what’s different about you (your business), your product or service,
  2. what you excel at, and
  3. what elements of those things are of obvious value to your customers.

To identify what’s different about you first look at why you are in the business you’re in. Your motivation for being in this business is unique in itself. No-one else has quite the same mix of background, knowledge, beliefs, values and attitudes that you do. So use it.

By the way, this even applies in bigger organisations with marketing teams. The business has its own culture, experience, values and attitudes that can be encapsulated in a USP.

Make a list of all the things that are different, wonderful, exciting, memorable about you or your business. Get to at least ten items on the list.

This is the basis for an incredibly powerful USP because it is unique by definition. But it is not enough, because you then need to take these amazing attributes and turn them into advantages for your target market. Think: why should my customers care?

In fact, ask them! Even if you don’t feel comfortable asking “This is what’s neat about me (or my business). Why would that make you buy from me?” Then at least ask: “Thanks for your business. Why was it that your chose us to buy from us today?”

You should have a pretty good idea now what’s different and excellent about you and your business. But to make sure, take a look at what your competitors are offering. Check out their website, brochures, adverts. Even mystery shop them.

Can you offer something substantially different that’s of value to your customers based on what you’ve done so far?

It may help you here to get specific. In a classic case of creating a USP, a shaving foam manufacturer took the generic statements used by other companies: “Abundant lather,” “Does not dry on the face,” “Acts quickly,” and used specific facts in their marketing. They said, “Multiplies itself in lather 250 times; softens the beard in one minute; maintains its creamy fullness for ten minutes on the face; the final result of testing and comparing 130 formulas.” These facts were probably true of the other players in the field, but this company said it first, so these facts belonged to them and their product.

So get specific in your claims for difference, excellence and benefit to your specific target market.

A specific type of USP can be your guarantee. Your guarantee is also one way to take the risk out of buying from you. A guarantee is a promise backed up by a process. Take a look at how you do things and work out what it is you can promise as a result that your competitors either don’t, won’t or can’t offer. Again, be specific, as in: “Delivered in 30 minutes or you get it free”. Do you remember who that guarantee belongs to? Of course you do, and that’s why a USP and guarantee are so powerful…

Other ways to take the risk out of purchases include customer testimonials, case studies, educational materials (articles, videos, workshops, webinars, etc.).

It takes time and thought to create your USP. Don’t try to do it all in one go. Capture information, ideas, comments in a journal and start to develop them gradually. Test different versions in your marketing materials and measure the results, until eventually you have a USP that really talks to your target market(s). Then jealously guard it, because if it works well, you know your competitors are going to try to muscle in somehow.

Be vigilante and keep adapting to modify your niche proactively rather than being reactive to competition, changing technology or economic fluctuations.

Sapphire Coaching specialise in boosting personal productivity and help to build stronger businesses that deliver more to their owners. To request a complimentary business health check and to find out how much more your business is capable of delivering to you schedule a face-to-face meeting online. To find out more, go to http://www.actioncoach.com.

Article Source:
http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Gareth_L_Shackleton

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