Thursday, September 14, 2006

Do what you're good at

Although niche marketing in South Africa is not being exploited to the extent it is in the US and Europe, it certainly is on the way.

On a regular basis, a new business owner or professional just starting out, will consult with me about "their Niche". Some consultant may have convinced them that in order to further develop their business, they have to identify a specific product and market that as their "niche".

In some cases this could be relevant but more often than not this can be an over simplification of how things work in the real world.

As Small business owners, we should remember that its not always necessary to put "all our eggs in one basket" and sell only one service or provide only one or two products. In fact, our real advantage of being small business owners lies in the fact that we are flexible, innovative and can customise our products and services to what sells at the time.

In a small business, we as owners can respond personally and find the perfect solution for a customer with an unusual request or a special need. Never under-estimate that tremendous advantage!

The grain of truth in the "you must specialize" motto is that to grow your business you MUST focus on what you do best. Some products or services, or some aspects of the business simply "suit" or fit you more than others. Talents show up in different ways. Even things like the location of your business, or the gender, age and training of your staff will create certain strengths, while also creating a parallel set of weaknesses. In all my years of starting and running businesses as well as working with those who do, if I have learned one thing it is to follow my passion. Its much easier and immensely more fulfilling to do what you love and align your self with your values.

To build your business, focus on what you do best. Specialise and advertise the things you enjoy most, or that you feel passionate about. Make a virtue of your natural advantages and specialize in those things.


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