Are There Really Riches in Niches?

There might be riches in niches, but there is a better way to grow your practice than specializing in niches. Instead of niches, determine the ideal client that is right for you.You might be surprised by how many you are already working with.

Try this exercise: Obtain a list of your current clients and put their names in a spreadsheet.Then add columns for one or more of the following and fill them in:

  • Gender
  • Approximate age
  • Industry
  • Business size (solo, small, medium, Fortune 1000)
  • Type of work
  • How well do you like to work with them
  • What do you like about working with them
  • How challenging the work is
  • Do they pay you on time?
  • What role do they see you as filling in their company

Add whatever columns you feel are useful.The goal is for you to determine which clients you like working with the best and what characteristics they have so you can find more of them.

Also note which clients you don’t like to work with and what characteristics they have so you can avoid attracting more clients like them.

Do you see any patterns emerging?

You might discover you have a predominance of married males in their 50s who have their own insurance agency with one employee.They have a family and own their own home.Their employee does the basic bookkeeping, but they need a CPA to oversee accuracy, do taxes, check compliance issues, and perform advisory services.

Or maybe you have married 40-something females running retail operations with complex accounting and sales tax issues in multiple states.They are pretty sharp when it comes to their books and profits, but they could use some tax planning and business advisory services on a periodic basis.They are highly educated, some with MBAs, and great communicators.

Or maybe you have general contractors whose wives do the books.They have many workers with lots of turnover and need to do weekly payroll.They can’t stand paperwork and have cash flow challenges constantly.And they need a bunch of help with job costing and estimating because they occasionally mis-bid a job.

The above is what marketers call a persona, a composite of several clients that make up a fictional person that you can pretend to be speaking to as you market.  I encourage you to create one or more personas for your company.

Once you’ve spent some time thinking about your ideal client and their characteristics, you can do many things with this description.When you create marketing materials, you’ll know exactly who you are speaking to and can customize your message better.You can focus on who you want to look for when you accept new clients.And you will have your own clarity about what you like and don’t like in your business so you can cull what’s draining your energy and bring in new people that make you happier.