To Niche Or Not To Niche? That Is The Question
No matter how you pronounce it, the term ‘niching down’ is grabbing a lot of attention right now. And for good reason.
Whether you’re a social media savvy solopreneur or bricks and mortar small business owner, you may have seen and heard a lot recently around the concept of ‘niching down’.
Not only is there a hot debate about how to pronounce it correctly (for me, it rhymes with Quiché, for others it rhymes with rich) there’s also lots of discussion around whether it’s the right thing to do for small businesses and solopreneurs.
The reason? Done right, knowing it's the right time to niche down can open up huge business benefits. Done wrong, it can close down potential business opportunities.
So first off, what do we mean by niching down?
What is niching down?
A niche is a specialized segment of a market for a particular product or service. So when we talk about niching down, we’re referring to the specific market you’re in, not your product.
A niche product caters to a high specialized, low volume, consumer demand, which often leads to premium pricing. A good example of a niche product would be vinyl records, which attract music purists who value the authentic sound quality and packaging.
In contrast, in a niche market, your product or service provides a very specific solution to a very specific problem. For instance, if you’re a personal trainer, then your target audience might be people who want to get fit. Niching down means refining that audience further.
So, maybe you specialize in helping women get fit.
Or maybe, you go deeper and your core audience is actually ‘busy mums who stay healthy’.
Or, further still, working mums looking to build in exercise around work and childcare.
And so on.
You might be thinking that’s getting too niche, but the reason that niching down is no longer a limiting factor is that social media and the Internet now enable businesses to reach a smaller, more niche audience, on a global scale.
Let’s start by taking a closer look at the reasons why some small businesses and solopreneurs decide to go niche.
Why do small businesses and solopreneurs go niche?
So niching down has got your attention: it might be something you’re thinking about doing, or possibly something you’ve already done (maybe without even knowing it). You might be wondering why so many business owners make the choice to go more niche. Here are four common reasons for niching down:
- When you go niche, you go deep. By specializing in a more specific niche, you create an opportunity to become a thought leader and go-to expert in your field.
- With a clearer idea of who your specific target audience is, such as working mums finding time to exercise around work and childcare, it’s much easier to create relevant content.
- By focusing on one, or a smaller set of problems, you can focus your attention on creating a more specific solution, or a set of solutions, that really resonate with your audience.
- The most obvious reason to go niche is that when you narrow down to a particular target group, you automatically reduce the number of competitors.