Serving a micro-niche to stand out in a crowded marketplace

In 2009, I made a life changing decision. I decided to abandon my previous business venture of creating niche content websites, and chose to open my own web development company. At the time, I realized only around 50% of local small businesses had a website, and my feeling on the reason for that was that customers couldn’t afford the rates being quoted by the larger firms. As a small business based out of my home, I knew I could charge a much more affordable rate and assumed this would be an important reason I could compete, and do well in the web development business.

Almost immediately, I realized I was struggling to make ends meet. After some reflection and stumbling upon a YouTube video that helped open my eyes, I determined there were 3 key things I failed to realize when I was first starting

  1. I was entering a very crowded industry. It turns out, there is no shortage of web developers and web designers for a small business to choose from.
  2. The target market I chose (small businesses) was too broad. Assuming a position in the marketplace as a company who could help all small business owners was a wide net to cast.
  3.  Choosing to compete on price was a flawed business strategy. Competing based on price means I was participating in the race to the bottom.

The Race to The Bottom

When you sell a product or service that is viewed as a commodity, consumers don’t have a preference on whom they do business with. It is perceived they can get what they need from a number of good options, so buying decisions are often made based on perceived value received for price. What makes matters worse in my industry, is you can find yourself attempting to compete on price with firms all over the world, where the cost of living is considerably lower, and thus they can charge very affordable rates and still pay the bills. Due to the very nature of the business and target market I chose, I found myself participating in the race to the bottom. I was offering a service that was liked by many, but loved by no one. My product offerings were not special, or unique. I was an average guy offering an average product for an affordable price, and the key failure is there will always be someone out there willing to do this same average work for cheaper.

“The problem with the race to the bottom, is you might win.”

~Seth Godin

The lesson learned

The lesson learned here is that in today’s digitally connected world, people can tap directly into the consumer they want to reach. The key is just to identify a micro-niche of consumers you want to serve, and be the best at serving them. This is how you can stand out in today’s crowded marketplace. The goal shouldn’t be to create a service that a lot of people like. The goal should be creating something that a smaller amount of people love. Create something that is unique, interesting, or noteworthy…  and people will find you & pay you extra for it. Because you see, you’re not selling something that is the same as everyone else but cheaper…  you’re selling something that is different from everyone else, but more expensive.

Next Step – Identifying my Single Motivating Purpose

I strongly believe my next step is to identify my single motivating purpose. This is a term coined by Jermey Frandsen and Jason Van Orden who are pioneers in the internet business space & founders of Internet Business Mastery. While I know joining their academy would allow me to achieve this, I cannot currently afford the $500 price tag. So, I will take the advice they were so kind to provide in their podcast.

  1. Understand Simon Sinek’s Start With Why concept. Ideally I think their suggestion is to read Simon’s book of the same title, but you can also gather the basics from his TED talk, which you can view here.
  2. Read and take the StrengthsFinder 2.0 quiz. You can purchase this from Amazon.ca by clicking here. Make sure you purchase a new copy, because you’ll receive a code to take a quiz, which is the most important part of this purchase… you may not receive a functioning code if you purchase a used copy.
  3.  Read Unique Ability by Catherine Nomura. This includes a step by step process on how to define your purpose, and bring your business more in alignment with your purpose. I don’t see where to get a hard copy of this book in Canada, but you can purchase the Kindle version by clicking here. You do not need a Kindle to view this, and you can download a Free Kindle Reader by clicking here.

I believe once this research is done, this should leave me with the self awareness and direction I need to identify my Single Motivating Purpose. Once I have identified this, I believe identifying a micro-niche for my business and determining what to offer them should become a lot more clear and obvious. In addition to that, I already know that identifying this niche, and a product they love will also help me understand how to market the product to them & get the word out about what I have to offer.

I will write a follow up post down the road about the results of this process, and my feelings after going through it. If my current beliefs end up being correct, I will certainly need to write a follow up post related to what a single motivating purpose is, and how to identify it to prosper as a small business owner.

If you have any questions, please let me know… I’d also love any advice you can provide me on discovering my single motivating purpose, which one also might call “Finding my WHY”.

About The Author

Derrick

At LOWD Media, we specialize in supporting entrepreneurs. We understand inspired entrepreneurs and business minded individuals. We then use this understanding to learn about your business and help you create a look and feel for your business – your brand identity. Our business startup packages provide everything you need to begin marketing your business effectively and at an affordable price. Once you begin marketing and growing your business, we strive to support you and grow with you. Long term success for your business means long term success for our business. Let your brand be heard loud and clear with LOWD.

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