The dream of every business owner or entrepreneur is to see their business at the peak of whatever industry or niche they operate in. Every business wants to be the ‘Google’ of search engines, they want to be the ‘Harvard’ of universities, they want to be the ‘Boing Boing’ of aircrafts, they want to be the ‘Oprah’ of talk shows and they want to be the ‘Facebook’ of social networks. As lofty as these ideals are, not many businesses have a clear cut approach on how to achieve them. As a result, many businesses have only been dreaming about these lofty ideal and have never begun on a deliberate journey to making this ideal a reality.
Therefore, in this article, I want to share my own insight into how any business can become the KING of the NICHE in which they operate. I want to outline certain key principles and processes that if taken by any business whatsoever, will catapult them to the peak of their industry. Let’s begin.
What is a NICHE?
A niche is a specialized market in which a business operates in. For example, every automobile company produces cars; therefore we have the automobile industry. In that same industry, we have certain niches, such as; the luxurious car niche, the high speed niche, the safety niche and the affordable niche. These niches represent different smaller percentages of the automobile industry. They are different from the general automobile industry, because their market is highly specialized. While people buy automobile generally for movement or mobility, those who belong to these niches buy automobiles for different reasons other than mobility. Those who buy Rolls Royce for example, certainly aren’t after mobility, they are after luxury. The classy feeling and social status often associated with owning and driving a Rolls Royce. Why? Because a Rolls Royce commands a higher price than most regular automobiles. Therefore, a niche is a specialized market in a particular industry.
How To Create Your Own Niche and Be King!
Find a reason for being [PURPOSE] other than profits
The first thing you want to do in order to be a king in your niche is to find a reason greater than money as the purpose of your being in business. Being a king means you control a certain specialized domain in your industry better than any other company in that industry. It means you are the market leader and every other company follows behind you. The big question for you is this; why are they following you? Are you being followed because you make all the profits or you are being followed because there’s something more to your business other than profits? Let’s take a clue from other kings of their niches like Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart is into the retail business and has become the largest company in the world as a result of their business success. This company is worth over 400 Billion US Dollars and has over 2 Million workers worldwide. Wal-Mart is the king of the retail business in the world, they do retail simply like no other. What’s their secret weapon? Everyday Low Pricing – this was theirreason for being greater than profits. Sam Walton the late founder of Wal-Mart had a clear cut purpose for going into business 87 years ago which was; “to provide the common man on the street an opportunity to buy at lower prices the same stuff the rich buy at other stores at higher prices.” This commitment to the ordinary guy in the world has been the most vital element in Wal-Mart’s success story. Not once in the whole of their history did they make profit their overall goal, it’s always first about creating everyday low prices. In fact, they did this so well that they ended up trade marking and owning the word “Always”. Meaning, at Wal-Mart, there’s “Always” everyday low prices.
There you are, I hope you can now clearly see the correlation between having a purpose greater than money and eventually being the king of a niche? There’s no way you are going to get to the top of your niche or industry by putting money first. Being at the top is a result of being different [uniqueness] and making a difference [usefulness], and not profitability. Kings wield the highest level of authority in their domain because they occupy the highest position in the eyes of their subjects. The same is true in business; kings of their niches occupy a key position in the minds of their customers. They are recognizably known to be the best at what they do. They didn’t get to such an enviable position because they had so much money to buy it; they got there as a result of their consistency in delivering a service like no other company in their niche could.
So if you desire to be the king of your niche, I suggest you revisit your reason for being in business and make it one greater than just making money. Every other point I am going to mention henceforth, finds their relevance in this first point. You cannot be a king in your niche if you are not prepared to serve those in your target market. Your reign will depend on your relevance to the market you serve. If there’s nothing peculiar and unusual about your business and how it relates to meeting the needs and solving the problems of the market it operates in, then forget about being a king of a niche!
Select and Own [BRAND] a particular word in the Market
What word does your business own in the market in which you operate? You cannot be a King without having a peculiar name or word that resonates deeply in the mind of those you lead. You cannot be a king without having a sacred word unto which you bow and hold in highest esteem. The art of owning a word is what marketers refer to as positioning or differentiation, in other words, branding. It is a deliberate attempt to make your business memorable in the mind of your customers. It is a deliberate attempt to direct the efforts, resources and focus of your entire business as a whole towards making the actual meaning of a particular word experiential to those you serve. How do I mean?
Take Wal-Mart for example, they chose the word “Always” suggesting that no matter what they will never compromise on providing everyday low prices to their customers. The word “Always” connotes consistency and integrity; it means all of the time, without fail, constant and come what may, we will never cease to provide everyday low prices. Look at such level of commitment. Tell me who can beat such an audacious promise or claim?
Selecting and owning a word is the greatest test of any business. It is a test of your level of commitment and consistence. Nothing can make you more distinct as this, and when you can be seen as distinct, becoming the king of your niche is a piece of cake. There’s got to be something they can hold you accountable to as a king. Every king of a domain is bounded by certain oaths or promise which they cannot break as a result of the position they occupy. The same is applicable in the world of business. What claim, oath or promise has your business openly made to the world? By what standard shall your business or company be judged?
My company MADphilips, owns the word SIGNIFICANCE and every other shades or related meanings of it like; SIGNIFICANT. We have found other creative uses of the word like; different and making a difference, uniqueness and usefulness, unusual, ab-normal which stand for above normal, MAD, being unique and being useful etc. These are different words we own in the mind and eyes of those we serve as a company. As a company, we bring that mentality into everything we do and into every project we embark on. It is our most sacred word up on which everything we are and do is judged. We bow to it and hold it in the highest esteem. We don’t compromise on being SIGNIFICANT. If there’s no way that the work we do for a client won’t reflect SIGNIFICANCE, we simply won’t take it. If you have been very observant, you will notice every time I use the word SIGNIFICANT it is always capitalized. Why? Because it’s the reason for our being, it’s sacred and must be treated as such. This singular word, directs everything we do and will ever do as a company. It is the foundation on which my business is built.
When choosing your own word for your business, be sure it is something that truly resonates within you as an entrepreneur. Let it be a word that will ignite your passion and inspire your creativity. Don’t just choose any random word; choose one that you will be ready to die for if the need ever arises!
Make Your Business A Never Ending Story [LEGACY]
I have always been known to ask this question every time I’m opportune to address entrepreneurs; “what will the world miss if suddenly your business ceases to exist?” The whole of your existence would have been a complete waste if as an entrepreneur you cannot or haven’t figured out an answer to that question. Entrepreneurship is a calling, take it from me! You have been called to use your life to build a business that will make the world much better than you met it. Entrepreneurship is nature’s instrument for solving humanity’s problems. What story are you using your business to create? You want to be the king of your niche, what will the world remember of your reign? There’s always a story behind the reign of every king in human history, so what will yours be as the king of your industry or niche? Whether accidentally or intentionally, every business tells a story, what story will the world tell about your business?
To be the king of your niche requires you to use your business to create a never ending story as a result of the SIGNIFICANT impact your business will have on those you serve. A never ending story is a Legacy. What does it mean to create a legacy in business? Creating a legacy means breaking new grounds, doing things no one else has ever achieved in that line of business. It means meeting the needs of your customers beyond their wildest dreams. It means constantly being the trendsetter in your industry or niche. It means giving everyone a run for their money. Innovation must become your watch word. You must never cease to ask, what other positive change is there to make?
Wal-Mart is known to have done this time without number. They were the very first company in the world that created a network amongst all their suppliers such that every supplier had direct access to their inventory and daily sales record of every item in their stores. This allowed for prompt re-order of depleting items without causing any delay or shortage of inventories which would have caused customers’ needs to be unmet. It totally removed all the bottlenecks caused by the traditional form of inventory management. It was simply a revolution in the retail business and when it was fully integrated into Wal-Mart’s operation, they made it available to the entire retail industry worldwide and others were able to benefit from their landmark. This is what it means to be a king in your niche. Your business must become the light that shines in the dark and makes way for others to pass. Why? Because every king leaves a mark in the sands of time, what mark are you going to use your business to leave behind in the sands of time?
With this, I come to the end of yet another unusual article and I leave you with this question; “If you were on your dying bed and you were asked what you did with your life as an entrepreneur, what would be your reply?”
Has your business IQ increased as a result of reading this article?