Business leaders know: Carving out your niche is only the first step in launching a successful business.
This story was first published on Rolling Stone Culture Council.
Business leaders who want to scale in a niche market have a unique opportunity. Niche markets often mean less competition, but the businesses that do exist may be tougher to compete against.
To help ensure success when scaling up, businesses should take certain steps to set themselves up with the best odds, whether that’s by analyzing market trends first or by taking the time to develop a distinct brand identity. Below, Rolling Stone Culture Council members share this advice and more to help business leaders looking to grow in their niche.
Business Leaders, Evaluate the Market and Analyze Trends
I feel that a business leader’s first move when looking to scale in a niche market is to evaluate the market for the last five to seven years and build a model of scalability while looking at the trends over that period. In a niche, specialty market, trends lead to awareness, and understanding trends will determine the potential for growth. – David Colonna, The Maven and The Muse
Make Your Customers a Priority
Always keep your customers in mind. Your customers, their needs and how best to solve their problems with your product or service need to be your company’s North Star. At Scratch, we focus on the consumer and client experience first, then build all platforms to scale around that mission. With that ultimate experience as a primary goal, you shouldn’t get ahead of your skis when trying to scale. – Rob Principe, Scratch Music Group, Inc.
Leverage Industry Leaders and Tech
Go big, go niche or go home. A niche is easy to define, target and dominate. Find industry leaders and true influencers to create growth. Use exponential technology; it gives us pace and scale. – Igor Beuker, Igor Beuker
Know Your Competitors’ Strategies
Focus on and analyze your competitors’ strategies. It’s the best way to learn dedicated marketing strategies for any niche market. In my book, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time. Brands can employ this technique to design specific plans to create a buzz in that market. The better you know your audience, the better equipped you’ll be with the products and services they’re looking for. – Candice Georgiadis, Digital Day
Trust Your Gut
As much as we do our best to stay ahead of the trends or keep up with them, I think it’s best to follow what feels natural and true to our creative vision and direction at the time. Just trust your gut and be honest! – Antwanette McLaughlin, The Spice Group, LLC
Refine Your Product Before You Launch
Start simple and focus on what makes your product or service unique. Take the time to iterate and refine it before you launch. Crucially, stay in your lane and scale your consumer base before you add other products into the mix. Offering too many things at once will confuse your core target and impact your ability to scale. – Michael Klein, Sunset Amusements
Develop a Distinct Brand Identity
If you are looking to scale in a niche market, developing a distinct brand identity is key. From your visual assets to your messaging and copy style, you want to create a persona that attracts your target audience and stands out from the rest of the market noise. Achieving this requires extensive brand strategy and a clear vision of who your ideal customer is. – Dan Serard, Cannabis Creative Group
Evaluate Metrics Quarterly
The riches are in the niches. Experiment with niching down and evaluate your metrics quarterly. If you target an audience to little effect, tweak your focus. Of course, make sure you have an offer that your niche audience would be foolish to refuse. – Victoria Kennedy, Marisa Johnson
Own the Space and Be Bold
As a business leader, you need to embrace your niche and goals, no matter how impossible they may seem. Always be ambitious and passionate when fueling growth in a space that no one has ventured into before; never abandon ship. Own the space and be bold. Take time to understand your market and its needs. The better you know your niche, the more rapidly and successfully your business will scale. – Mike Weinberger, Unity Rd.
Focus on Quality Over Quantity
It can be tempting to try and grow your business quickly, but if you sacrifice quality, it will be difficult to maintain long-term success. Instead, focus on delivering a product or service that meets the needs of your target market. Once you have a solid reputation, expand your reach. By taking things slow, you’ll be more likely to find success in the long run. – Kristin Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC
Know Your Audience’s Wants and Needs
Listen before you speak! Spend time in the niche and its communities to learn why people are there, what they like and what they want. Knowing your audience is essential to providing real, differentiated value to them. – Amanda McLoughlin, Multitude
Remain Authentic to Your Brand
Prioritize authenticity in every aspect your brand can. Truly understand the culture your consumer identifies with. It is important to meet your consumer where they are while remaining authentic to your brand. – Red Rodriguez, GRAV