This blog’s target audience is small business owners… the Davids who are out there slugging it out with the Goliaths every day.
If you’re a small business owner who has heard that niche marketing is THE KEY to developing successful marketing messages, you’re in the right place. It’s true, targeting a niche market is THE KEY to creating successful marketing messages. Be developing a niche marketing strategy, you’ll find your small business winning even when you go up against the "big boys".
When we lived in Indiana, my oldest son played on the basketball team of a very small private Christian school. The year he was in 8th grade, he found himself the sole 8th grader on his team. Fortunately, the rules allowed these tiny micro-schools to allow 6th graders to play because otherwise his team wouldn’t have had enough players to compete. In addition to the fact that my son was the only 8th grader, he was also the only team member taller than 5′ 6". Most of his team mates (which he referred to as his"little buddies") hadn’t even broken the 5′ mark…. which meant the team was CONSTANTLY thrust into "David vs Goliath" battles on a regular basis.
Bob Zurkle was the brave coach of this team. His leadership not only lead to his undersized team to win as many games as they lost (something NO ONE thought possible when the team stepped onto the floor for each and every game) he took them to the State Championship where they were narrowly defeated in the semi-finals. To say it was a Cinderella season would be an understatement.
Which brings us to how Bob Zurkle was able to achieve this feat and beat the odds… with a team that lacked size and at the beginning of the season, lacked skill AND experience. Bob didn’t coach his team to "hit the boards" and get rebounds… (my son was the ONLY one on the team who even had a CHANCE at a rebound). Instead, Bob coached the little team to play to their strength. Since they didn’t HAVE a strength at the beginning, he created one….. the three point shot.
One of the 6th grade players on the team was a 4′ 9" dynamo whom Bob taught to hit the three point shot. This little guy was so tiny, he couldn’t GET the ball to the net with proper form… so he developed his own "shot put" style of shooting which would launch the ball with enough force to reach the net. Every day in practice, that tiny player would spend time perfecting his three point shot.
Remember, these are Junior High players. Most of their opponents did not HAVE anything in their play books to counter what Bob cooked up for his team. His tiny players would bob in and out from under the net, passing the ball with military precision and when the opportunity was right, the 4′ 9" dynamo would shoot…. scoring on 2 out of 3 of his attempted shots. Without exception, fans from the other team in the stands would chuckle when he set up to take the shot…and would cheer when he made the first one. It gave me chills each and every time he made a shot during the season!
Remember, as a small business owner, YOU may not be able to compete with the Big Boys…. whether it’s the Big Box Retailers…. or other giants in your industry. But your lack of size DOES give you the ability to manuever in ways the big players wish they could.
Your lack of size means you’re there on the front lines, listening to what your customers are saying. You don’t have to filter this information through a myriad of different levels of management…. each editing the comments to make sure THEIR DEPARTMENT isn’t held responsible. You’re there to hear them say, "Gee, I’d like it if this came in red." You’re there to hear them say, "I wish I had help with this."
Play to your strengths! Lack of size can be a GREAT asset! As a matter of fact, if you’re a big player you’ll probably find you CAN NOT compete with a small nimble player when it comes to targeting a niche market.
Talk to your customers…. listen…. and you’ll find they’re HAPPY to tell you what you can do to serve them, and others like them, better. And THAT is the beauty of niche marketing for the small business owner and what allows you to beat the big boys at their game on a regular basis.