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FLASHBACK ARTICLE FROM JULY 2007
So you have your business up and running or maybe just crawling. Maybe you’ve had some super years but lately things are slowing down. Could your slowdown be the result of you slowing down? Could it be you just aren’t standing out from the competition or maybe you’re offering a lousy product or service? Finally could it be because you have failed to create your own economy?
Well, you can do something about each one of these. Maybe you can even improve your economy. By “niching” you can be different enough that it will be harder for outside influences to affect your financial weather. The economy in general is rather tough to change unless you’ve created the economy. The longer I’ve been business coaching the more I have seen the success of others that came as the result of “niching” their offerings. When you niche your offerings you create your own fairly reliable micro-economy. It has only been in the past few years where it became glaringly apparent to me exactly what it means to niche. I had tended to overcomplicate what it meant to niche. Finally, a friend and fellow business consultant pointed out that niching, can be simple little tweaks to an existing service or product or just in how you do business. It doesn’t have to be a flaming wedding cake or a mortgage company with naked representatives but it could be a light up wedding cake or a mortgage company with all beautiful female representatives.
Think about people that make fortunes in various businesses. All of them had something that was different that made them stand out. The huge warehouse stores changed the supply chain and passed the savings on to the consumers. TY Beanie Babies created a frenzy by producing an inexpensive collectible, limiting supply and creating a bunch of crazed collectors while the owner raked in billions. In fact it is estimated the owner of TY is worth over 6 billion dollars. The pizza business is a great example. Dominoes started it with “hot pizza in under 30 minutes”. Little Caesers followed shortly thereafter with “Pizza Pizza”. Hungry Howies with flavored crust and Jet’s now has the only “8 corner” pizza. Then finally, the fastest growing chain of them all, Papa John’s which is carving out their niche with “Taste the Difference – Fresh Never Frozen”. Once somebody makes the niche theirs, they own it. So what niche is yours? What makes you stand out?
Your market needs to be primary on your mind so you know how to reach them. What is it you can do different to increase sales? How can you improve your economy? You may think what you have is the greatest thing in the world but if the public doesn’t agree, you are still at ground zero. To make money you need to do something that makes you different. Fill a market that isn’t currently being filled or serve it in a way it hasn’t been served.
Consider that when you use pricing as a niche, specifically discount pricing, you become a commodity. You not only shift your focus on price but you shift your clients focus to price as well. Don’t even begin to discuss price with your clients until you have built value into their minds. Be different, truly different and you’ll weather calmer storms in your economy.
What ways can you think of that a company can niche itself? Visit my blog and post some ideas. The person with the busiest post will receive free of charge, my cd set – “8 Degrees of Separation”.


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