For Many Small Business Owners Trying To Grow Their Business,
narrowing down the number of services you offer and limiting the type of business you take on might seem like professional suicide – however by focusing on one specific niche you are actually defining your brand far more clearly and positioning yourself as an expert at what you do.
As an example, if you had a scratch on your car would you take it to the local garage that does absolutely everything, or would you call out a scratch repair man? Almost everyone would have the simple scratch fixed by the expert who spends his days perfecting scratched cars, rather than the garage that spends the majority of their time doing MOTs and brake pad changes.
In other words, by positioning yourself as an expert in a particular niche you have already built more trust around your service, meaning people with a specific issue are more likely to call you than a more general competitor.
Another advantage of positioning yourself as an expert is that you are also adding perceived value to your services. Because you are the expert, your customers will turn to you for guidance and advice and will be more likely to follow your recommendations. This in turn will allow you to deliver a service that you truly believe in, rather than following a client’s orders, and your great service will pave the way for a far healthier long term client relationship.
So, how do you go about branding yourself as an expert?
First of all, take a critical look at what services you provide, and decide what exactly you prefer to do. This could cover everything, from the way you work day to day, to the types of clients that you enjoy working with the most. Tailor your services so that you are speaking directly to those perfect clients and stop advertising other services that you don’t enjoy, or that you feel you aren’t as good at.
However, cutting back on what you offer shouldn’t mean losing out on business or opportunities. If someone wants a service that you no longer want to provide, you can always set up a referral scheme with another business who does that, but who may not focus on your specific niche. You can send clients their way, and they can send your ideal clients back to you.
Another option is to continue to offer the wider range of service in the short term but don’t advertise the fact. You can then explain to your customer that you are doing more specialist work but are happy to fulfill their particular requirement as a one off. This will also help you spread the word of your specialism and alert that customer to the fact that they could use you again in the future for something else.
One of the greatest benefits of focusing on one particular area of business is that people will start to associate you with your niche and expertise. For example, if I were looking for a new dentist there are possibly several in my area that would come with great recommendations, however if I wanted to have my teeth straightened there would be a lot less to choose from as not all dentists straighten teeth.
Being known for a specialism sets you apart from the crowd and gives you fewer people to compete against.
Consumers are presented with so much choice, and being able to research online gives so many options and insights that those choices can be overwhelming. Because of this, people crave specificity and if they are in the market for something in particular they want to know that they are choosing. By offering too many services you can dilute the power of your message and even though you may be perfectly capable at delivering, you’ll be putting people off.
Your potential customers who land on your website should be able to easily sum up what your business does, and not only that, but pinpoint your area of focus. By being so specific, you are providing your audience with an immediate association that allows them to remember you more easily. If you don’t intentionally give a clear and focused message about your business, those customer opinions will be passively influenced and will not necessarily be aligned with your intentions.
If you want to know more about building a website that speaks directly to your ideal customer then download our free ebook – Power your business with a website that sells.
What are your thoughts on focusing on a Specific Niche vs offering a more General Service? Let me know in the comments!