So you want to build a successful business in today’s world of fast-moving commerce and innovation. But with every new startup popping up claiming to do the same thing, only better, it can be difficult to find room to make your company’s voice heard. To become successful, take a deeper look into carving a niche and strategically navigate to stand out from the competition.
1. Know your passion and what drives you
One commonality among the most successful entrepreneurs is that they have all built a business around what they love. Not just a small thing that they’re interested in or good at, but rather the type of love that gets them up every day with burning passion. If you want to start a successful niche-focused business, you first need to know what passions drive you. Compare your business idea to your passions and make them align if they don’t already.
2. Go deep into your niche
Carve out a niche, and then drill down even deeper in that niche. This shows your customers that you are the go-to resource for all of their needs related to your specialty. An example of a company that exemplifies this is o-ring manufacturer Apple Rubber. For 40 years, Apple Rubber has drilled down their niche to focus on providing full-service offerings for rubber seals. The company successfully navigates its industry by offering standard and custom solutions in manufacturing rubber seals for everything from car parts to medical machinery.
3. Create value and then prove it
You should be producing value with everything you do. After defining your niche, ask questions like:
- What sets my product, service and company apart from my competitors?
- What immediate value do I bring to my customers?
- Is the value I am creating needed in building upon my customers’ success?
Don’t just stop at the who, what, when, where and why of the business, but drill down into each of those and start defining the how’s of creating value. Remember, it’s not about being OK at everything, but doing one thing great.
4. Be consistent everywhere
It’s easy to focus on creating short-term value for customers and forget about creating long-term value. Long-term value comes through consistency and reliability.Ask yourself:
- Can I do “X” great over and over again?
- Can I provide “X” at a value for my customers while providing value for myself?
Successfully navigating a niche-focused business is understanding the needs of the market while understanding your own capabilities and costs.
5. Understand how your customers see you
Don’t be fooled by what you think of your company’s value, but instead, think about how your customers see you. Paul Brunson of PBCA notes that your personal brand is less of what you say it is and more of what everyone else says it is. This means you need to listen to what your customers are saying and implement their feedback into your business process and customer service.