Want to Sell More? Stop Trying to Serve Everyone
They say “variety is the spice of life,” and one thing most of us business owners enjoy is that we get to do lots of different types of work, with different types of customers. There are many benefits to this variety, but today I want to show you how breadth can hold your business back from faster growth. While it may be counterintuitive, if your business focused on a narrower niche, you would likely find more new customers, faster.
I recently started working with an IT support company. The owner was telling me about the different services they offer, and it was a very long list. They help people set up smartphones and tablets; they help businesses install computer networks; they design custom software; they consult on technology workflows; …and I’ll spare you the rest of the list.
Their business had grown like this organically. People approach them for many different projects. They enjoy the variety, and they never want to turn down the money.
Sound familiar? Yeah, many of us are in a similar situation.
The Benefits of Focusing
The IT company felt like they were maximizing their revenue potential by doing lots of different things. But actually, the businesses that grow the fastest tend to be laser focused. When you focus on serving a narrower niche, three things make it easier for you to find new clients.
But Wait! I Don’t Want to Rule Anyone Out
I’m not saying you have to fire current clients that are outside of your niche. Nor do you have to turn down people who approach you.
What we’re talking about is focusing your marketing–really getting clear about whom you are going out to look for. Rather than aimlessly roaming the oceans, find a nice lake and get to know it really well. You will catch more fish, faster.
Action Plan: Defining Your Niche
If you’re ready to get more focused in your business, here’s how to define your niche. There’s two different dimensions to consider: type of product or service, and type of customer.
First, make a list of the different types of products or services you have provided in the past. Next, make a list of all of the types of clients you have worked with. Use whatever client categories make sense: For businesses, perhaps industry, size of company, etc. For individuals, perhaps age, gender, occupation, etc.
Example: General Contractor
- New construction, single-story
- New construction, multiple-story
- Remodeling, less than $500K
- Remodeling, more than $500K
- Small business
- Big company
On each of your two lists, choose one (or two, at most) to focus on. To decide, consider the combination of financial opportunity with what you enjoy doing.
Congratulations, you have a new niche! Now you can focus your marketing energy, and notice how much easier it is to attract new customers.