A common misconception among folks starting a new business is that you need gain the whole “pie” in order to succeed. We started out as a company tailored to gentlemen, but then the wedding world found us, and now we are entrenched in a niche market. The important lesson is not to fight the market, if you are trending in one direction, embrace it. This strategy has worked wonders for us. Here are a few strategies to help your business succeed in a niche market.
Understand What Makes the Niche Tick
It’s important to stay current. Go to events, learn about the major players in your market and Google the heck out of your niche. You need to make sure that you are the expert in the area, and you can see each new trend coming.
Use Your Research
Use the knowledge gained from researching your niche to put your product in front of the eyes of everyone in that market. Don’t be timid! Post on blogs, be vocal at events, brag about what you are doing for the community. Let people see your passion.
Get grassroots if you have to -- be at every farmers market, convention or local event that makes sense for your niche. Someone actually holding your product in his or her hands and meeting you directly is an extremely powerful experience. You never know if a contact that originally seemed trivial could one day become the catalyst of your success. Whatever your niche is, make sure that people can’t think of it without associating you, on whatever scale that means.
Some People Won’t Understand. That’s OK
When starting a business in a niche market some of the people closest to you can be the most discouraging. Remember, they haven’t done the research that you have. They don’t understand the community like you do. Don’t let people talk you out of trying something that you believe in deeply.
Prepare for Niche Seasonality
When the wedding season hit us this year, we were understaffed and unprepared. Kevin (the other Box Bro) and myself had to spend countless hours and late nights in the shop playing catch-up. You have to know when the seasons are and when your niche market is going to strive. Plan ahead and when you’re done planning, plan some more.
Open the door for New Opportunities
During the most recent holiday season, we looked for a new outlet to keep our business growing, even in the off-season for weddings. We have “opened the door” through giving our customers what they want. Instead of only catering our products to weddings, we now answer requests for custom orders and Holiday Boxes. Because of this, we’ve had to get crafty and start introducing different boxes and themes for the Holiday Season.
There is no better feeling than watching something you spent countless hours on develop into a business. If anything I have said can inspire just one person to give it a shot, then that’s awesome! I can leave you with a quote Kevin used to say, which I think is really a quote from a Lil Wayne song, though it does get the message across…“Be good or be good at it.”