When Should You Niche?
When I was starting my business, I wished I had waited to niche.
We hear so much about “riches in the niches”. Or that our business won’t grow if we don’t find a niche ASAP.
Before we go further, what IS a niche?
In basic terms, think of a business niche as a specific area inside a broader market. One that differentiates a business from its competition.
For example, my niche is “business strategy from a feminist perspective”. A different niche might be “business strategy for parents reentering the workforce”.
I always knew that my niche was going to be to work with women, but I felt a lot of pressure to find my niche before I even knew what I was doing.
I agree with the power of niching. But you should have a couple of years under your belt first. Take your first couple of years in business to explore a bit. If you’re a graphic designer, you may want to take on projects in web design, illustration, product design, and logo development to help you determine what aspects of graphic design you enjoy and are good at. You may discover that you love product design and not illustration as you imagined you would. That’s when you need a niche.
As we grow our business, it’s less about ADDING and more about EDITING.
One way to find a niche is by slowly editing your business to align with your values.
Here’s two ways to help you do this:
USE THE TOLERANCE EXERCISE TO EDIT YOUR BUSINESS
I created The Tolerance Exercise to help you visualize and align your values.
Grab a piece of paper and a pen. Have a big old think. Then, write down all the things you tolerate in your business.
Don’t hold back!
Write them all down… The big ones and the nit-picky annoying ones.
Ask yourself: What am I tolerating? Who am I tolerating? And why am I doing that? What am I doing/not doing as a result?
This will quickly help you identify where you need to focus. You’ll see things that are causing you to drift away from your vision.
If the Tolerance Exercise revealed a laundry-list of items, it means that you have some edits to make in your business.
Here’s an example: Take a look at your clients. Are you serving clients who align with your values? Many entrepreneurs struggle here, but after you answer a few quick questions you’ll realise which types of clients need to be pruned. I have a practical strategy for “bad boyfriend” clients in my upcoming book. (*Shameless plug*)
If you want to get rid of that fingernails-on-the-chalkboard feeling in business, I suggest you add the Tolerance Exercise to your quarterly business review. (As your business grows and changes, you’ll find new and exciting things that annoy you).
FOCUS YOUR ENERGY WITH THE 80/20 RULE
The “80/20 Rule” is a great way to ease into niches and edit your business.
Find the 20% of your time that produces 80% of your business results. Spend more time on those activities and less time on the others.
List characteristics of the top 20% of your customers (who represent 80% of your sales). Find more like them and dramatically grow your sales and profits.
Don’t believe me?
Here’s an example: a copyeditor discovers that 80% of her revenues come from editing memoirs — one of five services she provides. While representing 20% of the services she offers, editing memoirs equals 80% of her income.
If you’re making less than $100,000/year, it’s a sign that you aren’t aligning with your zone of genius. Instead, you’re doing #AllTheThings.
Stop spreading yourself too thin. Edit your business to focus on your values.
Your niche will find you.
You don’t need to niche your business until you’re at least 2-3 years in. Then, you can begin finding your niche by asking: “What edits does my business need right now to align with my values?”
A recent YouTube video from Tad Hargrave [Niching As Birth – YouTube] compared niching to birth. He has a point. We may feel pressure to niche. But first, we should focus and get aligned with our values and our genius. You’ll know when you’re ready to niche.
P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 3 ways I can help you grow your business:
1. Grab my Guide & Workbook to keeping your cool and making money- even during a global pandemic!
Can you make money, grow your business, and survive a pandemic all at the same time? The quick answer is yes. — Click Here
2. Book a free strategy chat
You can grow your business bigger than you imagine possible, even during a pandemic. Here’s what will happen – we will chat about your vision for your biz, where you are right now and any challenges you are facing.— Click Here
3. I’m looking for a few specific people to join me for my live training, where we will spend 90 minutes a week for 90 days to exponentially grow your business.
Just send me a message with DOUBLE in the subject line to get more details.