This is a great question because at first glance, focusing seems counter-intuitive. However, as you’ll see by reading below, there are several reasons that going into a niche can make a business highly successful and far more profitable. Read on.
6 Reasons to Narrow your Focus:
Be seen as an expert. If you’re a carpenter who specializes in staircases, then you’re likely to be at the top of the list for a contractor to call for a tricky staircase. A general contractor doesn’t want to risk having a difficult project done wrong and appreciates the value of hiring an expert. Which brings us to the second point…
Charge more. When your customers appreciate your specialty/core differentiation, they are willing to pay more. By contrast, if you don’t specialize, then you don’t stand out from the competition and are more likely to be asked, “How much?” early on in the conversation. And there’s always someone willing to price a project lower.
Don’t spread yourself too thin. You can’t be everything to everybody, but you can burn out trying to be. By focusing on a niche (or two), marketing and client delivery become easier. When you do the same type of work consistently, you become more efficient and better at what you do.
Provide a better customer experience. You also meet the needs of your clients better when you are more adept at a certain type of work versus doing it once in a while. While you may be fully qualified to install tile roofing, if a particular product has is more challenging to install, then you’re more likely to make an error and/or take longer to complete the job. I would argue that you might be better off referring that project to someone else who is an expert. In doing so you may save your reputation.
Create top of mind awareness. When you’re unique, you’re easier to remember. In BNI, members are encouraged to get specific about what type of referral they are seeking as they share with the group. A poor example of this would be a handyman saying that anyone with a house is a good referral for him. Well, that applies to a huge part of the population. Instead, I know he would have gotten a better response if he had said that he was looking for someone with a honey-do list that’s too long. In a referral group, giving fellow members something specific to listen for keeps you top of mind. And even if you’re not in a referral group, sharing with your network what your niche is leads to top of mind awareness (and find out what others are looking for too! You can look like a hero when you connect just the right expert with someone).
Your marketing budget (of money and time) goes farther. When you’re focused on a specific niche or ideal client, your efforts will reach more of the right people when they are easier to find in a crowd. For example, if you’re going after work with owners of mid-century homes, then targeting neighborhoods or identifying online groups becomes easier and more affordable.
Have you narrowed your focus? If so, I’d love to hear how it’s working for you.