From stress therapy for pets to fashion stores inspired by the wardrobe of a single celebrity, there are a lot of businesses out there which are unorthodox, to say the least. Although they may not be exactly conventional, many of these businesses still manage to capture the hearts, minds and of course wallets, of their target customer. If you’re planning on starting a business that’s a little different, it requires a slightly different approach. Here’s some advice which I hope you’ll find helpful.
A simple service is a single offering, built around the wants and needs of a narrow customer base. Whether you’re aiming to be the international leader in 3D printed foods or costumes for dogs, you need to be able to answer a few questions: Who needs the service you’re offering? What’s uniquely useful about it? What makes the service you’re offering better than the current competitors? When it comes to niche businesses, you need to fine-tune your online marketing, brand name, logo, and other marketing materials to focus solely on selling your unique expertise and specialization. Drafting a business plan for a niche firm can be a little challenging, so search for more focused posts or look into one like this.
If you want your simple service to be a success, and I’m sure you do, you need to find a way of capitalizing on a narrow marketplace which is being under-served. Niche marketplaces are small, specialized segments of a market within a larger, usually more viable industry. Think about the customers in the marketplace you want to enter, why they’re being under-served, what you can do better to serve them, and what you can do to ensure your customers come together through buying your products. This is going to take a lot of market research, far more than would be necessary for a more conventional business model. However, when the work’s all done, the data you gather in order to create a detailed customer profile will be a huge advantage. An easy way to start is by reaching out to your niche audience’s enthusiasts, influencers, and key decision makers on various social media platforms. This brings me onto my third and final point…
As the designer of your simple service, you’ll be in a unique position to offer your niche audience a lot of valuable insight and advice. However, simply telling everyone you’re the expert through your marketing materials isn’t going to do a lot. Shameless self-promotion leads to dead ends for a lot of businesses in 2016, but there’s, even more, risk if you’re targeting a narrow demographic. If there’s one thing that will build credibility quickly for an unorthodox business, it’s authenticity. Tell your customers the story that brought you from where you were to where you are now, going into the different problems you encountered, and what you had to do to overcome them. Establishing yourself as an expert comes later, with blogs, press releases and so on.
Main Image: (Flickr)