This third and concluding part of my articles on the Niche series became imperative when some readers started to ask how they could develop their niches, either as individuals or as business owners.
Of course, like I said in a previous article there’s no closing the book on any subject; questions would always be asked. Let me answer the pertinent questions on niche development today and move on to other subjects from next week. I hope that, in the near future, we’d be able to deal in greater detail with all subjects relating to Niches in a full-blown seminar.
Now, the question: How do you develop your niche as an individual? The approach is not different from any personal development process. You begin by studying the lives of people who have your kind of niche, or who have carved a niche for themselves in any field and succeeded brilliantly.
Again, let me use the example of soccer. If you are a footballer and you want to carve and develop a niche for yourself as a “free-kick specialist”, study players like David Beckham, Jay Jay Okocha, Roberto Carlos, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and other icons of the game who are famous for taking set-pieces.
These players are dreaded by opposing teams when it comes to dead-ball situations. At dying minutes when games are deadlocked, they are known for scoring that crucial penalty, corner kick or free kick that decides the outcomes of matches.
Watch their videos, study their methodology, life styles; read their biographies and autobiographies to see how they achieved greatness. Since we also learn by imitation, their stories could inspire you to succeed in your own niche. This is a template that could be used by anyone to develop their niche in any area. Study the icons of that field.
Another way to develop a personal niche is through mentoring. You can submit yourself to a mentor in your chosen field, who is well respected as an achiever, to mould you into a winner like Jesus did with His disciples. Learning under a mentor; a practical apprenticeship, is something that no other form of tutelage can beat.
There are numerous training programmes and sandwich courses like seminars which could develop your knowledge and help you improve your niche considerably. You have to keep on studying, reading relevant books, updating and improving your skill and knowledge to be a success in any field.
Finally, I recommend continuous access to streams of information on your area of specialization through reading of professional journals, surfing the internet, reading newspapers, research, interaction with professional colleagues and constant practice. That’s how you develop your niche.
In the case of a business person seeking to develop a niche market, the approach is similar, with few adjustments. Mentoring do not work in the competitive environment of business. All businesses are rivals. However, to develop a niche market, you could study the methods of Mercedes Benz and Rolls Royce, in the luxury car segment for instance, because they have succeeded in holding their markets for generations despite fierce competition from rivals.
The Diamlier-Benz Group has expanded its luxury auto range to include the coupe, for celebrities, and the Sport Utility Van (SUV) for the young, upwardly mobile urban professionals. And their famed luxury sedan is still strong in the market. Rolls Royce has likewise expanded its niche to include the aircraft industry. Many aircrafts are powered by Rolls Royce engines because of their reliability.
As you can see from the foregoing, even after Benz and Rolls fully established their niches and settled comfortably in their markets, with the former admired for its superb engineering and styling, and the latter for reliability, they still went ahead to develop other niche markets. In effect, even if you have conquered a niche market, you can still expand into new markets.
Bic biro, a dominant force in the ball point market for decades, has gone into shaving stick production with the Bic brand. This is called Product Line Extension, subject of another article in the nearest future.
Therefore, using your established brand name in a successful segment to market a different product like we see from the example of Bic, which we call Product Line Extension is a way of developing a niche further. If that new product has something unique to offer, it could be a winner.
It is not easy to develop a niche market. You must follow all the processes of market development like feasibility studies, market research, funding research and development etc. Take note of this: You develop a market based on a need; but you develop a niche and create a market. It is a big gamble, for sure, but only risk takers succeed in life.
Weekend spice: “People who take risks are people you’ll lose against” – John Scully.
Until next week, folks, enjoy your weekend and stay motivated!
•Ladi Ayodeji is an Author, Conference Speaker/Pastor and life coach. He can be reached at [email protected] and 09059243004 (sms only).