Mr Ayodeji, the CEO of A4&T’s non-fictional experience is a perfect illustration of succeeding in a niche market. He designed a portable generator in form of a box in the renewable energy niche and targeted the barbers as a key part of his strategy. He chose a barber in his neighbourhood and installed the box in the barber’s shop for a week. At a point, there was a blackout in the area but the barber still had electricity because of the box. Those who came to barb were curious and asked for the source. Contacts were made and referrals started coming in. From a small box, he hit the jackpot and since then, it has been a win-win situation.
Below, we’ll go over what a niche market is and how to succeed in it.
A niche market is a segment of a larger market that can be defined by its own unique needs, preference, or identity that makes it different from the market at large. Some of the most common ways to define a niche are based on price (high, moderate, and discount), demographic base (gender, age, income level, and education level), level of quality (premium, high, moderate, low, and cheap), psychographics (values, interests, and attitudes), and geographic (the buyer’s precise location).
To succeed in a niche market, you have to;
- Conduct extensive research and development: It is oftenthefirststage in the development process. New product and services are introduced here. This is advisable if you have no background in your chosen niche. Take your time to understand all there is to know about your chosen industry. From Ayo’s story, it took him five years to learn about his new niche.
- Develop a go-to-market strategy tailored to your niche: Here, you have to define your target market, define your target customer, define your brand positioning, define your offering, define your channels, and define your budget model and your marketing strategy. According to the story, his first target market was the barber in the neighbourhood.
- Be intentional with your approach from the beginning: Following your tailored go-to-market strategy to the latter would be helpful in doing this.
- Be a great team player and builder: When entering a new niche, it is important to build a team that is competent in that niche while managing them effectively.
- Understand that business plans alone don’t give the full picture: In a new business, it is important to look outside of the scope of your business plan for potential problems, opportunities, etc. A business plan is a roadmap while innovative ideas and ambitious concepts when put in action (just like the small box in the barber’s shop) solves the problem.
- Always start small: Whether there are insufficient/ surplus resources, starting small is important because it helps make scaling up more effective. Mr Ayo started with a small box in a small way.
- Stand out with a unique value proposition: When starting up in a niche, a strong unique value proposition would give you a significant advantage over your competitors. Mr Ayo’s small box gives a unique value proposition in the sense that, in the midst of the problem (blackout), there was a solution (undisrupted power supply because of the small box).
It is advisable to learn, unlearn and relearn about your new niche before going into it. You have to believe in yourself because the opportunities are always there. If you want to build a niche for the long term, you need to start small because big things have a small beginning.