My daughter recently approached me to ask if I could help find employment for a good friend of hers who was about to graduate from college. Eager to hear more about how I could potentially help this newly graduated young man, I asked, “What does your friend do?” Her response? “He’ll do anything.”
While this may seem like a great thing to say, showcasing that her friend wasn’t afraid to work hard, no matter what the job was, actually had the opposite effect on me. It struck me as off-putting because being everything to everyone isn’t exactly the best idea. Instead, it is always best to find your niche, your sweet spot, and focus your efforts there if you want to get wherever it is you desire to go.
This is an area that a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with out of fear that narrowly defining their market will limit their ability to grow their business. However, the opposite is actually true. The more you niche your product and service offerings, the more successful you’ll likely be.
To help you better understand how this could be true, imagine that your child was stricken with a life-threatening illness. Each day, your heart twinges with more and more hurt as you watch him or her struggle to merely survive. It’s obvious to you that the condition they have is going to take them from you way too soon if you don’t find them some help. And soon.
Now, I ask you, are you going to take them to a doctor that knows a little in a lot of different areas and just hope for the best, or are you going to look for a specialist that treats only patients with whatever condition your child has? The latter right?
Additionally, the cost is irrelevant to you because you are willing to do whatever it takes to get the only outcome that you are willing to accept, which is for your child to fully recover and be able to play with friends, go to school, and do everything that other children do. So you sign the required forms and agree to pay whatever amounts of money are requested. No matter how thin your budget is stretched already.
The same rationale applies when setting your own niche in your given field. This is so important. Not only does it more clearly identify who your target market is, it also puts you in a position where you are more in demand by the very people you intend to help. It establishes you as an expert in your particular area, making you more desirable and enticing people to pay larger amounts for whatever it is you have to offer them.
Think about this for a moment and come up with a list of some niches that you could enter given your current level of knowledge and expertise. Which ones jump out at you? Where could you specialize with little to no effort at all? Where would you like to specialize?
Another option is to consider areas that you don’t currently have the required knowledge or skill set to specialize in them, but would be willing to apply yourself in order to enter that particular field. Once you’ve identified your potential niches, the next step is to research what you need to obtain to focus your work in those areas. Are there classes you can take? Certifications that you need? Experiences you could start to get in order to gain more credibility or refine your skills?
Remember: You being everything to everyone isn’t going to help you. It isn’t going to get you where you want to go and you’ll be lost in the shuffle. Instead, pick one thing that you enjoy and are good at and choose to concentrate on that. You will be happier and more satisfied—as well as more successful—when you do.