Be more than a snowflake in the blizzard

Practice Management

Be more than a snowflake in the blizzard

To catch the attention of your clients, you need to be able to deliver something that few others can

What comes to mind when you think about a niche market? The concept often conveys concerns like, “If I limit my market, I will be limiting my business as well.” But the reality is, if you try to be everything to everyone, you run the risk of looking like all the other generalist advisors who are as numerous and indistinguishable as snowflakes. Each one of them may be unique, but none of the individual flakes is going to catch anyone’s attention in the blizzard. To catch that attention, you need to be able to deliver something to someone that very few of your competitors can. And when you find that someone, your niche market, you are one step closer to building a sustainable, successful practice.

So what are the elements of a great niche market? No matter what resources you look at, you’ll find the same three basic things described by the questions listed below.

Question 1: Who can you serve better than anyone else?

Some folks identify their niche market as “retirees.” Can you truly articulate how your process is different and better than that of your competitors? If not, then you should whittle that group down to one you can serve uniquely. You don’t have to be the best in the world in delivering that unique service; you just have to be the best in your geographic area. This could mean that you become the expert on a local company’s pension plan so all their employees want to use you. You also could become the expert on helping local small business owners to sell out and retire. Whatever it is, it should allow you to create a unique expertise that prevents your competitors from saying “me too” in comparison to you.

Question 2: Who can you serve in a profitable way?

This means validating your niche. For instance, how big is the niche? Spending a lot of time to become the expert that all the Acme employees want to use doesn’t make sense if Acme only has 14 employees and 10 of them are assembly line workers. What does the competition look like? The competition for professional sports players is immense, but could you tweak your market to be the choice for minor league or farm team players?

Question 3: Who can you be passionate about serving?

This refers not only to the group but also the work. Doing interesting work with clients who are a good fit can lead to a profession you look forward to doing every morning. 

Finding your niche through these three questions leads to a practice with minimal competition, solid revenues that don’t need to be constantly defended and a group of clients who refer business with ease since you provide unique services with a passion. It means you are no longer a snowflake in a blizzard; you become a beacon in the blizzard that clients in your niche are drawn to. 

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