How to Find Your Business Consulting Niche


Why Going Niche Will Produce the Best Business Results

Being an independent business consultant is a tough gig, especially if you have been in business for two years or less and are still building out a reputation in your space. It’s easy to fall for the temptation to take every paying gig that comes along, we’ve all been there. But, if you want to succeed long into the future in consulting, it’s time to consider narrowing your focus and finding a specific niche to service.

It’s the age of the subject matter expert

Everywhere you look, more and more people are specializing, even in industries as vanilla as home construction. That’s because in today’s market, consumers have more choices than ever before and that extends into the B2B consulting market as well. It’s not hard to learn everything there is to know if your niche is targeted.

Companies will often hire multiple consultants, even in one field, to get very specific, detailed skillsets brought to bear on specific challenges they face. If you can show them that you know their exact pain, and have dealt with it before, it goes a long way to helping them believe you have a cure.

Allows you to have a laser focus on your sales and marketing

The shotgun approach to marketing is messy, expensive and time consuming. Execution is even tougher when you committed to something you aren’t 100% comfortable with. Instead of casting a wide net and editing yourself down, find a specific need to meet before starting your search for an audience. Once you know what itch you will scratch finding sufferers becomes a lot easier.

This laser focus eliminates pressure according to well-known entrepreneur Richard Branson. In most cases, you will end up narrowing your approach through results in the long run anyway, to make the most of valuable time. By finding your niche early, you can save a lot of trial error finding someone who will listen and needs your help. Use a journal and think about what things you most enjoy doing and how your specific skills might align with these things. 

Helps you define yourself and your business

How many times do you have to explain your business every day? The more focused your niche, the simpler this becomes. Imagine a plumber that only did bathroom faucet handles and nothing else. Not hard for him to explain his job, at all. In fact, he’ll be so polished in his presentation, you’ll wish your faucets needed replacing so you could hire him!

This in turn, makes word of mouth, business networking and referrals simpler. If you need a guy for bathroom faucet handles, I know just the guy. No more, well, maybe she can help? Many of your clients will be well qualified before your first ever conversation.

Businesses thrive when they focus on a specific need

Think of some major brands you have been familiar with your whole life. Most of them probably bring an image to mind. Brands like Nike, Coke, Chevrolet, or Eggo, have found an appropriate niche. While their industries are much larger, they have focused on developing and delivering specific, niche oriented products.

You are no different. When you can establish yourself as the go to consultant in a specific niche, everything becomes easier. Your work flow becomes more efficient, since you are dealing with similar issues. It’s easy to find new potential customers, because you have already narrowly defined your perfect client.

I challenge you to join me

As I am entering 2016, I am re-establishing my focus and working on remembering what’s important and what I do best. In fact, I just updated my blog’s services page focusing on 4 areas I’m concentrating on. This doesn’t mean I’m stuck, or limited to my chosen niche, but it allows me to market myself according to what I do best and build from that platform of success to achieve greater things with less effort.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell
Jessica Miller-Merrell is workplace technologist and marketing strategist. She's the founder of and proud member of the independent workforce 5 years and counting. Follow her on Twitter, @jmillermerrell.
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