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How to Find and Develop Your Niche

Finding and developing your niche can help you grow your business. Marketing to potential clients operating in a specific industry can help you increase your profit margins as you gain more experience servicing clients in your chosen niche and ultimately charge more money for your expertise. Chances are you'll even streamline your operations as you become more accustomed to offering your services to your choice clientele.

I've seen this approach of pursuing a niche garner great success at Madison Avenue Collective (MAC) where I serve as a Senior Business Strategist. In my role, I manage internal business operations and marketing business development, leading strategic branding, marketing, and communications efforts for clients. At MAC, we focus on four industry verticals tied to a public good concept of social determinants of health. These four verticals are:

  1. Higher Education (i.e., community college)

  2. Public Services (i.e., public transit, utilities)

  3. Early Learning/Childhood

  4. Community Health


Finding your niche does not have to be a complicated process. There are a few different scenarios that can lead to determining and pursuing your niche. These scenarios include the following:

  1. Leveraging your experience. In this instance, the founder of a business finds their company's niche after working for a long time in a specific industry and deciding to leave their position at one company to start another. At that new company, they leverage their expertise to continue serving clients within the sector where the founder has significant experience.

  2. Discovering it organically. This approach to discovering a business's niche involves a company's founder knowing that they want to venture out and provide services to a more general client base, only to find a pattern emerge in terms of who they're servicing as time goes on. They embrace that pattern and start targeting that specific clientele moving forward.

  3. Building it. A founder intentionally goes after and lands opportunities in a specific field instead of discovering their business's niche through experience or by accident. While this is a strategy you might want to follow, it's essential to remember that it does take time, and you may have to charge lower rates until you build up enough experience to charge more.

  4. Recruiting team members. In this situation, a business owner who already has a niche and wants to grow their business decides to pursue additional verticals. To accomplish this, the owner recruits team members with specific knowledge and expertise in the verticals they want to focus on to pursue them successfully.

Achieving Longevity

When searching for your niche, it's imperative that you verify and validate your business's current position to see if you can truly sustain a company that operates within this new vertical. For example, you may enjoy working with a specific client, but the marketplace the client operates within may not be big enough to support you working primarily with that client type.

You must also ensure that operating within a new niche is something your business can do long-term, in that you and your team are passionate about this vertical and are eager to pursue new clients operating within it. Doing so will increase the likelihood that your business will grow and experience longevity. The more you like your clients and want to work with them, the more successful you'll be at servicing them.

Developing Your Vertical

Now that you have a clear idea of how to find your niche and continue servicing the clients within that niche for years to come, you should try to remember a few things throughout the process.

  1. Stay patient and be diligent. Finding and pursuing a new vertical does not happen overnight. You must be strategic about your approach to build up your client base over time.

  2. Listen and learn. Specializing in a specific industry and catering to particular clients allows you to be more curious as you discover their challenges and needs. Make sure you learn as much as possible from your experience servicing these clients to apply those insights when engaging the next client.

  3. Cast a wider net. Your niche does not have to be extremely specific. In fact, a niche that's too specific may limit the number of clients you can service. For example, if you're interested in working with people in restaurants, you may consider widening your net to working with people in the food service industry. Doing so gives you room to grow your business substantially while specializing in a particular field.

As I mentioned, my company has seen great success from pursuing our current verticals. You can achieve similar growth by using the insights and advice I've shared in this article to develop effective strategies for your business. For more insight, check out this episode of the Virtual CPA Success Show.



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