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Small Business Growth Strategies: Identifying Target Market and Niche

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Alexander the Great did not build his empire by conquering an entire continent in the span of a day.. Being the great military leader that he was, he conquered one territory at a time. From Greece, Persia, Babylon, Egypt, and beyond. Slowly, intelligently, cunningly, he was able to conquer most parts of the world known to Greeks at the time.

It is an interesting thing to contemplate upon, how Alexander took control of almost the entire world in a little more than just a decade, which was the span of time that he ruled, as he took the throne after his father’s passing when he was 20, and then died of a disease at the young age of 32. From their kingdom in Macedon, his father took over the entire Greece and united them as a country. Upon his rule, Alexander then conquered Persia, and then took on one territory at a time afterwards. Alexander never lost a battle, and the number of territories he has claimed and took control of at a time when communication was harder to maintain for lack of sophisticated technology is indicative of how great he was as a warrior and leader.

If this teaches us anything, it’s that when you wish to conquer the world, you must do so by targeting one nation at a time.

As an aspiring entrepreneur, you probably share Alexander’s lofty aspirations– to conquer. Perhaps you want to conquer your own city for the time being, and once you’ve gained some traction, you’ll go after the cities next to it. Or perhaps you want to focus on selling women’s apparel for now, and then for both genders of all ages later. Or you may wish to bake and sell muffins and cupcakes to serve those with a sweet tooth around your area for now, and then couple it with coffees and other hot beverages later to target younger markets.

Does any of these make sense to you?

No? That’s alright. This article will let you in on one useful small business growth strategy: Identify your target market and choose a niche.

Are you ready? Let’s dive in!

Defining Target Market and Niche

What is a target market? What is a niche?

It’s best to discuss these two first. Are they even the same thing?

Not exactly.

You see, if a target market is a circle, within it is a smaller circle called a niche. A niche can be found within your target market.

By definition, a target market is “a group of potential customers that you identify to sell products or services to”.

Now, this group of potential customers can be divided into even smaller segments on the basis of age, location, income, or even lifestyles. These segments are what we refer to as “niche”. A niche is simply a smaller market found within your target market.

An example would be a bakeshop that sells cakes and other pastries. Their target market are people with a fondness for sweets, but because they are selling gluten-free cakes and pastries, their niche therefore, is people who are fond of sweets, but are on a no gluten diet.

Get the picture? Yes? Good. Let’s continue.

So now that we know what a target market is and what a niche is, you’re probably wondering what’s the importance of these two. Here’s the catch: Identifying your target market and choosing a niche can help your business a lot.

Let us tell you how in the succeeding paragraphs.

Benefits of Identifying a Target Market and Focusing on a Niche

Why Choose a Target Market? What good does focusing on a chosen niche bring?

Identifying a target market and choosing a particular niche can help your start-up business a lot. First, it lets you maximize your budget. You can start with less competition, create an avant-garde brand, and more importantly, earn brand loyalty.

Allow us to elaborate on these.

Identifying a target market and choosing a niche lets you maximize your start-up budget. When you are starting out, you may be operating on limited funds. Targeting a certain market and narrowing down by focusing on a particular market will allow you to spend less on stock.

Identifying a target market and choosing a niche lets you have less competition. Starting out your business with an overwhelming number of other businesses selling the very same products you sell to a larger population can be crippling. You may not even be able to make it past the first few months.

Identifying a target market and choosing a niche lets you create an avant-garde brand. This depends, of course, on your conceptualization. If you have come up with an avant-garde product/service that you know will be a big hit in your target market and niche, then you will be the only one of your kind for a while. Of course some competition will spring up. Hopefully, not before your brand has earned your niche’s loyalty, which leads us to the last benefit on the list;

Identifying a target market and choosing a niche lets you earn brand loyalty. If you are the only one of your kind, and they know you to be the first one to come up with that cool new product/recipe/blend of coffee— then people will know you. If your product/service offering is really that good, then your chosen niche will be loyal to your brand.

Final Take: Why Choose a Target Market

We’re now clear on what is a niche and have distinguished it from a target market. Here’s our take and final answer to the question: why choose a target market?

You need an aim; you need to have a focus for your efforts. This way, you can be assured that the resources, time, and effort that you put in are directed to the people who will actually want and purchase your product. It matters less that you have a smaller market, and an even smaller niche. What matters is that according to the research you have made, you have chosen the right niche who won’t shun your products, but instead love them, buy them, and keep on coming back for more.

Who knows? You pick a small market for now, but like Alexander the Great, you can conquer one target market and niche after another, and someday soon, the world.