The very definition of niche is that it is relevant to a specific area of interest. “Car repair” could be considered a niche, but it’s not a very specific one. “BMW car repair” is more of a niche. You probably get the idea – you can get extremely specific with your niche, but as mentioned in an earlier article, it’s important to balance the scales between mastery and a broad range of knowledge. Not specific enough means that people won’t know if you can answer their questions directly, yet too specific means that you’re pigeonholing yourself and you’ll lose out on a great deal of potential business.
Outside of the specific area of interest that your business is involved in is the actual location of the business. Of course, with the advent of the Internet it’s entirely possible to market yourself worldwide, and common sense seems to say that appealing to as wide of an audience as you can is the best way to hook in more customers.
There is some truth to this, and it’s very true that the most profitable companies are international. But the flip side to this is that most of these companies did start out as local enterprises that simply grew and grew. Very few companies make their start hitting the international scene directly. Working worldwide requires an incredible attention to detail and generally a large staff of people who can pay attention to what regions are interested in what products and services.
In short, if you’re a smaller business, you’ll undoubtedly find it’s much more cost effective to market to your local area first. Of course, the nature of the Internet and international shipping being what they are, if you’re running a car parts dealership in Detroit and you get a query from Seattle, you’ll be able to help. Yet for marketing to be most effective, if you’re based out of Detroit, it will help if most of your marketing is targeted toward Detroit. This means that even if you don’t have a brick and mortar outlet, the costs of shipping and communication are much lower as compared to trying to do business with people in Moscow.
Once your business takes off, you can start marketing yourself to a wider arc of audiences. If you start in Detroit, move from there to the greater Michigan area, to the Midwest, to the country, to Canada and across the world. There’s a definite procession to the art, and you’ll likely find it much less expensive and a lot more effective to start small and then think big, rather than trying to take the entire world on at once. Start with your niche, start local – and grow.