When seeking out new business, it makes a sense to cast your net as broadly as possible. You want to get your name out there and you want to have enough clients to fill your day and pay the bills. Therefore, limiting yourself to a niche or specializing in just one area means you’re just wasting your time. Right?
Well… probably not. Of course you want as much business as possible – but that’s assuming you can just open your doors and clients will flood through the gates. No doubt you’ve discovered by now that just doesn’t happen. But oddly enough, narrowing down your business options may be exactly what you need to succeed.
There are some real benefits to specializing with your business. Here are a few, and they’re not all just about the bottom line, either.
1. Lifelong Fans
Marketing your business to a broad audience may get you a ton of fans on Facebook. It might even mean every Tom, Dick, and Harry who needs what you’re selling starts calling you up. Of course, that means that every project you take on will likely be diverse. It will take separate research, a different skill set, and will likely come with a learning curve. This can get extremely tiring after awhile.
Working within a niche, however, can be a whole different ball game. Specialized niche audiences tend to be much more fanatical when it comes to companies or people they love. For example, if you’re a freelance writer who specializes in botany, those who see you as a “voice” of botany will read everything you’ve written. Or if you’re a carpenter who specializes in making a certain style of chair, then anyone wanting one of those chairs will know to look you up first. Furthermore, you’ll become a master of your trade and differentiate yourself through your specialized skill set.
2. Smaller Learning Curve
One difficulty of starting a business is the tremendous learning curve you face. Suddenly you go from punching in from 9 to 5 to a 24/7/365 career that involves skill sets you had no idea existed. Your life is suddenly 100% in your hands.
You’re learning bookkeeping, contracts and marketing. Why make this any harder on yourself? By specializing your business you cut out a lot of headache. Your learning curve shrinks considerably when you focus your business on something you already know and love.
Plus, the best businesspeople always follow the industry news, opinions and trends in their area of specialty. If you work for clients in 10 different areas, you’ll end up having to do 10 times the work to keep up. And that’s not very good for your bottom line or your tired brain.
3. Make More Money
While it makes logical sense to cultivate as many skills as possible, it doesn’t necessarily follow that you’re going to be successful. It may surprise you to learn that can actually make more money by following and exploiting a niche.
For one, there’s going to be less competition. If you’re a writer who bills yourself as a “jack of all trades” you’ve got a zillion others just like you out there. But if you work at making yourself the best botany blogger on the planet, your competition pool just became dramatically smaller. Suddenly you’re going to winning over a lot more clients.
It is important to remember not every niche will need what you’re offering. Take a look around the web to see if what you’re really interested in could be a viable option for you. Are people looking to hire someone in your niche?
Also Google around to see if anyone else is already specializing in your passion project. If not, you may just have found a way to make the big bucks!
Love this!!!! I have really enjoyed getting as niche as possible in receivables management. It’s been a very rewarding journey.
Hah! I’m so glad you said that. Do you ever think “Nah, we couldn’t possible get any more specialized” and then… get more specialized? I have friends who write about very specific stocks and bonds. I’m not saying you can do that with every industry, but I think people would be surprised at how deeply they can specialize.
It can take a couple of years of continual review and consolidation as your business experience grows; to niche your business and importantly to find the right words to communicate your area of specialism.
Thank you so much for the article. I have never read an article that describes my frustrations so perfectly! Every project I was taking on had a different skill set and some I would not use again once I completed the project. The learning curve can make a person weary after awhile, not to mention creating new pricing structures for each project!! This article made me realize that it is time to specialize and the weight that has been lifted is very freeing. Thanks again, good work. Angela
Today’s consumer dictates how business will be done, and most consumers prefer to do business with a specialist. Therefore, would it be a wise business decision not to specialize?