If you have managed to figure out your niche, you are miles ahead of most small businesses who either have no marketing plan at all or a very poor one.

Last month I wrote about why entrepreneurs struggle with the concept of niche marketing, and the fears around it. Maybe you have managed to overcome those niggling doubts that say, “If I narrow down my focus to one tiny group, my business will slow down to a trickle.” In fact, it is the opposite, but there are a few things you need to be aware of in order to grow your business from this place.

Take this quick easy three-part niche assessment to determine if your niche is a strong one or not. Look at these three points, keeping your niche group in mind, and see if you get a yes for all three.

A good niche group needs to be focused on people who:

1. Have a strong emotionally compelling problem or issue they need help with.
2. Want the positive results that will either make them feel much better or solve a big problem.
3. Are willing to pay for the benefits they will receive because they see the value to their life, business and/or happiness.

I talked to a new client last week; a health practitioner who said he wanted to grow his business larger. He clearly had no niche group he was marketing to. I asked him to tell me who his niche might be if he could choose. He said it would be a 30-40 year old woman who was healthy and wanted to stay that way by practicing preventative care. He said this was his favorite client.

Although I can understand why he enjoyed working with a client like her, the cream of the crop, it is unlikely he will grow his business larger with her as a niche. Why is that?

First, she doesn’t have a real emotionally compelling problem. She feels good now. Second, there is no big difficulty to solve in order for her to feel the immediate benefits, even if she might feel a sense of peace knowing she was preventing problems. Lastly, she might pay for this kind of preventative help as long as she had the extra money because she knows it is a good idea. However, it will likely be a lower priority with other expenses, and certainly critical issues will take priority.

The fact that this client didn’t pass my famous three-question test, doesn’t mean she wouldn’t sometimes come to this practitioner for help every so often and be a wonderful client, but it will be an uphill climb to grow a business based on marketing to her. Her issue is just not compelling enough.

Your entire marketing plan needs to be built around one small, but strong group of people. Every decision and every strategy needs to have these people as it’s focus. It needs to be a narrow group of people that pass the Niche Assessment with flying colors.

To grow a stronger business and make more money it’s not about marketing to a million different kinds of people. It is about marketing to one narrow strong group and offering a million different ways they can work with you.

The health practitioner decided to change his niche to 30-40 year old women who get chronic debilitating headaches. The headaches zap her energy, wear her out, she is unable to be in a good mood around her children, she feels grumpy and isn’t enjoying life. She wants to feel good, have the pain go away and have more energy and focus for her kids. She is certainly willing to pay for this because she wants relief and feels desperate. This will change her life for the better.

How many women in his geographic area fit this description? I would imagine, thousands! By building a marketing plan and strategies based on this specialty, people will see him as an expert in their issue and will flock to see him. Assuming he gives excellent service, people will come once, get help and they will come back for more help. His clinic can offer tons of products and services to help this woman. To name just a few; body work, stress reduction techniques, supplements, relaxation cds, nutritional help, and the list goes on. You are already thinking of a few more I imagine.

This woman might bring her kids or her husband even if they don’t have headaches, because she now likes him and feels a connection and trust. She tells her friends. His business begins to grow.

Many people he helps don’t have headaches and are not even women but his marketing stays focused toward that niche regardless. He puts together strategies that work like writing articles, giving free introductory classes, changing the content on his website and so on.

Entrepreneurs who have a specialty and a strong niche steering their marketing plan, will grow their business by leaps and bounds. It works!

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