5 Steps to Narrowing Down a Niche For Your Business

Oct 6, 2015, Written by Sue Miley

Is it just our concern about losing revenue that keeps small business owners from focusing their business on a niche?  Do you worry that if you only focus on one main target audience, you will reduce your business opportunities?

Or are you one of those people who really loves to do a bunch of different things and can’t bear to let one go?

We usually have a common thread woven into our niche avoidance – FEAR.

But right behind fear is another deep-seeded compulsion of many an entrepreneur – STARTING THINGS.

We like to start new things because:

  • we have so many interests
  • we are usually multi-faceted in our skill sets
  • we are creative
  • we like the set-up and excitement of something new
  • we really are passionate about so many different opportunities

This results in us trying to create one business that does it all or multiple businesses simultaneously that serve a multitude of needs.  Ultimately, either path leads to:

  • lack of follow-through
  • spinning various plates to keep it all from crashing
  • not being known for anything
  • no synergies in our operations or support
  • a lot of small revenue streams with no momentum
  • frustration and burnout over time when nothing sticks

I know it is hard.  I am a Christian small business owner and an ENFP.  If you are an ENFP or an ENFJ, you know we can’t help ourselves.  We get bored easily and want to do the next thing.  We actually like trying to keep all of the plates spinning…..for awhile.

Jesus Has One Message

Even Jesus understood that people needed a consistent message as focused as possible.  Think about it.  We couldn’t stand having 10 commandments; we needed to know which were the most important.  Jesus focused us down to love:  Loving God and loving others.

What has kept Jesus message alive for 2000 years – one gospel message!

If all of the disciples and future disciples stick with the gospel more and more people will come to know Jesus.

Asking you to drop all but one part of your business or to focus on a specific niche target audience feels like you are giving up all but one of your children.  It feels too hard.  But try to rethink it.

Build Up One Niche At A Time

If you focus on one niche until it is past start-up and into a strong maintenance mode, then you can go to the next thing!

Here are some tips to help you get started in narrowing down a niche for your business:

  1. Analyze and assess current services, products and target audiences.  Look for the area that:
    • you are most passionate about
    • currently brings in the highest revenue
    • has a strong need in the market
  2. Review and see which of your services or products are connected and could come under one umbrella:
    • webdesign and branding
    • financial planning and insurance
    • bookkeeping services and tax planning
  3. Review your time and determine which services suck up the most time with the smallest payoff in revenue and new business opportunities.  Stop spending time on these.  You DON’T have to give up current clients now, but you can stop focusing on getting more or developing these services.  If you don’t have any clients in a service that takes up time, yet hasn’t developed a revenue stream, let it go.
  4. Develop a plan to grow and spend more time on the areas that came up strong in #1 and #2 above.  Go deep in your planning to get new business, do great work, and follow-through with refining and developing these products or services.
  5. Start working your plan and as this area grows, let go of other non-niche products, services or target audiences.  Focus on continuing to use free time to further refine your niche.

You will soon see that momentum will build, if for no other reason than you are focusing the majority of your time on it.  Think about it — if you dilute your time across four or five different types of business, none of them are a full-time business.  Logic tells us that it will grow slowly, just like any part-time business.

I challenge you to step out in faith and choose one niche to begin with, nurture it, spend time on it, build a strong foundation for it, help it to grow.  Once it is a stable ongoing, profitable business……then, and only then, RINSE and REPEAT.

Birth a new niche business!

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Robert Lowe says

    Very insightful and true. My business has been very slow to non existent over the last year due to the drop in oil prices and burn out. I need an infusion of energy to get rolling again. Focusing on the niche is a great idea. I just wish I knew which one to choose.
    Have a wonderfully blessed day,

    Robert Lowe

    • Sue Miley says

      Hi Robert, I try to put some objectivity to choosing a niche. Try picking 5 or 6 criteria that are important to have present in a niche you choose. Then list the different niche ideas you have on the left hand side of the page. Put the criteria across the top. And then rank each niche by each criteria. You may have one or two that are close, but this process will help you narrow them down! Blessings, Sue

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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