As an entrepreneur, you’ve probably read a lot of stuff about the importance of finding your own niche in the past, Chances are you’ve taken that to heart and set up a company that specializes in say healthcare or diet shakes or web design or whatever. That’s good because it enables you to forge a clear brand identity and identify a tight target market to whom you can sell your goods/services. However, it is often the case that, once a business has been established, its owners need to look further afield to keep the money coming in long-term.
A good way to ensure that your business can keep running and running is to ensure that you bring in a steady stream of new customers, as well as securing repeat business from your regulars. One of the best ways to do this is by expanding beyond your niche before the market becomes saturated and your profits start to drop.
You will probably know that this is no easy task. It takes the average entrepreneur many hard months and years of non-stop work to make inroads in their niche, and to broaden their scope is definitely a challenge. It is, however, very possible. So, if you’ve decided it’s time to broaden your business’ horizons by reaching beyond your niche, here are some strategies you can use to do so successfully:
Look to Different Cultures
Although there are some businesses that naturally appeal to everyone across the spectrum of cultures- healthcare and tech being two big examples – there are many businesses and niches which definitely have a primary culture who are interested in what they do. A good way, then, to expand beyond your niche is to look at ways you can make your products and services more appealing to other cultural demographics.
This might sound like a huge task, but really if you have a good solid product or service, it may not be as difficult as you might think. Often, appealing to a different culture is as simple as changing the language you use to market your company. Different cultures have different ways of expressing themselves and if you can tap into that, you can successfully target them. Just do some market research and see what you can implement and you might be pleasantly surprised.
Get Rid of Targeted Language
Sort of related to the above is the issue of language. If you have a product that could conceivably be used by anyone, but you target it at senior citizens or millennials or whoever, you will probably find that only those people you target will buy, or you may even find that even your target audience is reluctant to make a purchase because they don’t see themselves as senior citizens or whatever you’ve chosen to describe them as. To combat this and expand out beyond your niche, try removing targetted language from your marketing completely and focus on selling the benefits of the product. You may well see that more people from all segments of society are drawn to your stuff. If it doesn’t work, you can always change it back again!
Use It in Another Way
If, for example, you have developed a website that enables people to compare the costs of health insurance by inputting their details and searching through a range of providers, why not expand that by using the same technology to let them look for better car insurance deals, mortgages or…well anything that you can think of that the tech will allow you to do. It makes little sense to spend thousands of dollars and man-hours on product development only to use that technology in such a narrow way.
Obviously, this won’t be possible with every business model, but it’s always worth looking at your products and services to see if there is another way it can be used to bring in more customers from other niches.
Partner with a Complementary Company
A really good way of expanding beyond your niche that need not cost a lot of money is to find a company that complements yours and strike up a deal with them. For example, if you run a health insurance company, you could partner up with a local gym who will promote your insurance to their visitors. In turn, you can offer discounts to anyone who uses that gym regularly to keep themselves healthy. This is just one example, but it should be easy to see how you can adapt it to meet your business needs.
There are lots of ways you can find complementary companies, but attending expos, using expert convention displays to attract attention, and mingling with other businesses who attend is a good one, as is checking out other comp[anies on LinkedIn, visiting local businesses and setting up Google Alerts within your wider niche field.
Expand into Other Territories
Okay, so it definitely takes a lot of planning, and usually a significant level of investment, to take your business global, but expanding into new territories is a great way to expand beyond your niche. Different people in different places will often use products and services in slightly different ways than the locals, which will open up new possibilities for you.
You can start slow by just expanding into a new city or state, for example, so you don’t need to go all out all at once. If you decide to do this, it’s often a good idea to first focus on expanding into areas that are thought of as hip and trendy because if you can crack them, you can generate a buzz and reach people who may not have considered your brand before.
As you can see, there are numerous ways you, as an entrepreneur, can expand beyond your niche to sell more of your stuff to more people thus increasing your profit margins significantly; you just need to be brave, take the first step and be willing to work hard and think outside the box to make it happen!