To be successful, home-based business owners need to be aware that time-stealing temptations exist and take steps to counteract digressions before they turn into habits. If distractions seem overwhelming, the first step is to analyze the situation. If the problem lies with household chores, eating, or the television, the solution may be to get the distractions out of sight. If the problem involves family members or friends and neighbors, it may be necessary to have a frank discussion or family meeting concerning work time and free time. Options for resolving people conflicts include moving the office to another part of the house, hiring a baby-sitter or arranging for day care, or not taking personal calls during business hours. Ideally, an entrepreneur should set up a daily work schedule, try to work diligently for several hours at a time, and then take a break as a reward.
Yes, monitoring online mentions of your business is time-consuming. However, it’s a hell of a lot less work than mitigating the damage of a negative review, fighting a tide of critical tweets, or trying to convince new customers that you really do care when your previous actions say otherwise. Word of mouth marketing is incredibly powerful – when things are going well. In niche marketing, you need to listen carefully to what people are saying, and act immediately to rectify your mistakes.
Targeting a niche is a broad strategic objective that affords you plenty of flexibility to accomplish your other marketing goals. It even allows for the gradual expansion of your targeting to a more general, further-reaching audience (once you’ve established yourself). If you want your marketing and advertising to be competitive, you need to get specific and focus on just one niche to start.
Consider your expertise. If you take the time to reflect on your experiences, you will realize that you have more knowledge about which to write than you might think. Begin by listing three assets that define you, such as your profession, a special hobby or a personality trait. Next, list three things that inspire you, such as religion, education or charity. Finally, list three of your dreams, such as getting married, traveling or spending more time with your children. These three lists should give you many ideas of topics about which you can write.
With niche marketing especially, getting in front of the right people is more important than getting in front of a lot of people. However, getting in front of a lot of people such as through these media outlets also has its benefits. The more people who know about your business, the more people there are to recommend your business to a friend who fits your niche market.
3. Always test-market. Before moving ahead, assess the direct competitors you'll find in the new market niche and determine how you will position against them. For an overview, it's best to conduct a competitive analysis by reviewing competitors' ads, brochures and Web sites, looking for their key selling points, along with pricing, delivery and other service characteristics.
In the U.S., ecommerce spending totalled $97.3 billion in the second quarter of 2016 alone, an increase of 4.5 percent from the first quarter of 2016 (U.S. Census Bureau News). Online sales in the United States are expected to reach $523 billion in the next five years, up 56% from $335 billion in 2015, Forrester Research Inc. says. Canadian companies sold more than $136 billion in goods and services online in 2013, up from $122 billion a year earlier, according to Statistics Canada. Obviously more people than ever are shopping online.
Once there is a strong familiarity with the targeted niche, the marketing plan can be developed. Every aspect of a plan—beginning with the look and feel of the branding on through to the marketing tactics employed (event sponsorship, advertising, giveaways, brand ambassadors)—is tailored to the sensibilities and preferences that were discovered during initial research.
No business—particularly a small one—can be all things to all people. The more narrowly you can define your target market, the better. This process is known as creating a niche and is key to success for even the biggest companies. Walmart and Tiffany are both retailers, but they have very different niches: Walmart caters to bargain-minded shoppers, while Tiffany appeals to upscale jewelry consumers.