Before Conquering A Market, First Conquer a Niche
Entrepreneurs are ambitious by nature. When starting a business rarely will you hear an entrepreneur speak of a proverbial “ceiling”. A real entrepreneur will start with selling lemonade to a vision of offering lemonade in his or her 5 star restaurant chain. However, it’s important for entrepreneurs to first satisfy the customers with lemonade before enticing them into that restaurant. As a small business owner it’s important that you provide top notch quality service to customers that are feigning for it. If you focus on a niche within a market you will end up serving a core group of customers that not only want your service/product but need it. These are customers who will rave about your company and how you solve a key pain point for them. Since you will most likely be one of a few companies trying to solve their specific concerns, customers will not only appreciate you but will stay loyal as you continue on your path to a bigger market and bigger goals.
When Mark Zuckerberg first started working on Facebook it was designed only for Ivy League students. It connected students from elite schools and helped them develop relationships to feel as if they were a part of an exclusive platform. After gaining traction, Mark then opened up Facebook to more colleges. Eventually, Mark opened up Facebook to all colleges. Then finally, Mark opened up Facebook to everyone.
Some would argue “Isn’t there a possibility that he could have launched too slowly and risked losing to competitors?”
Facebook Created A Niche
This argument undermines the importance of cultivating not just customers but also loyal fans of your product or service. Facebook had developed such a core following with Ivy League students that it was easy to sign up other schools due to popularity among the “college elite”. Facebook then developed such a strong following from college students that it was easy to sign up all the other demographics.
Know Your Market Niche
As a small business owner you have to find the niche in your market that is big enough to generate enough revenue but small enough for you to gain loyal customers and determine the overall path and vision of your company. Remember that running a company is not a race to the finish line. Running a company starts by testing and going back to the drawing board. It’s about keeping it simple and managing only what you are capable of keeping track of before deciding to scale.