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Growing Your Niche Business

(February 2010) posted on Mon Jan 25, 2010

Finely targeting your marketing efforts is an effective way to start digging out of last year’s financial woes. This article offers tips to help you on your way.

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By Mark A. Coudray

But this only addresses one sport. What about all of the other sports? Do the others have their own booster clubs? And then you have the bands, theater groups, and clubs. Using the bundling method, you would approach the school and give them one very attractive price for all groups and events over the whole school year. Collectively your margin goes down, but in total your revenue goes up massively.

You can do the same with businesses. You can offer a service where you create fresh, new, seasonal graphics. They would change every three months and be designed to tie in with seasonal sales and merchandising. So instead of a purchase every six months for the employees, you increase by double or even triple as the graphics serve as mobile devices for P-O-P advertising. This method works very well for home and garden centers, where the seasonal changes give many opportunities for great designs.

Tying it all together
Marketing to niches means understanding what’s important to the people in your target market and taking advantage of emotional triggers. For example, hunters and fishermen look forward to opening day of their seasons. The same is true for school athletics or events like theater productions. The real key to your success in niche markets is knowing what’s important to them. You want an emotional connection, and you want to play on that emotional connection.

The second key element is having enough of a critical base in the niche that you can develop some economies of scale. Think preprint. Use the wholesale joint-venture approach to build a diversified group of customers. Create really great graphics that tie to that market. Become known as the go-to source. Create anticipation for the next great graphic.

You want and need a profile in those niches. As you grow, you can become a sponsor of events in those areas. The T-shirt and banner guys know this well. Every event involves T-shirts and banners, and printers are always hit up for donations, discounts, and so forth. Leverage this. Don’t be satisfied with your logo on the back of the shirts or at the bottom of the banners. Go beyond. Reach out to each and every one of the other sponsors with a special program just for them. This is another great way to easily grow your customer base.

Time is another consideration. Think about what customers need before, during, and after—or in the past, present, and future. Each client has unique needs and requirements, all of which present sales opportunities. An example is pre-event promotion, followed by sales at the event, and capped off by commemorative/reunion products.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to other companies. They’re looking for sales too. When you make these kinds of deals, you make lots of new friends who are excited to tell others about what you do. If you enter joint ventures with wholesale companies, you can create a steady stream of new business that you almost don’t need to touch.

We often get bogged down in our own way of looking at things—especially during the last year. Many companies were just busy being busy, meaning they were always working but not making that much profit. Everything collapsed for them when business slowed down, and panic set in when they had time on their hands for the first time in years. They were left to figure out how to replace lost customers and lost business. Hopefully, these examples will inspire you to take a fresh look and move on in a positive way. This is only the beginning.


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