When we started our business several years ago, we were desperate for clients.
We accepted every client.
We regularly discounted our fees.
We provided services that did not add significant value to the client.
We provided services that did not differentiate us from the competition.
We were trying to be all things to all people.
A few years later, I hated my business. I hated what I had created.
Accounts receivable balance was growing as some clients stopped paying their invoices.
We had to write-off debt that became uncollectible.
Some clients disrespected us and our employees. They did not value our services and often did not respect our opinions.
For many years, we struggled to find ways to get the love back, the love we once had for the business we created.
So, where did we go wrong?
We started the business without knowing at a deep level who we wanted to serve. We did not zero in on a specific niche of the market.
We did not do market research to understand the competitive landscape. As a result, we did not have a better product or service to offer to clients. And we could not add significant value in the process.
Recently, as I was listening to a presentation by Russell Brunson, he said…
“One of the fastest ways to build a business you hate is to attract the wrong type of customers”
At first, I did not get it. But he went on to explain that if you don’t know your clients, you don’t know their pain. If you don’t know their pain, you can’t develop a product or service that will address their pain. Ultimately, this will lead to dissatisfaction for you and your clients.
And there are other costs. Your marketing will be expensive, unpredictable, and ineffective. Your internal processes will be challenging to manage as you deal with a wide range of clients requiring different services and products. Your employees will be unhappy as they have to learn so much more to serve a broad range of clients. And the costs go on and on.
Many new businesses fall into this trap of trying to be all things to all clients. In some cases, there is good reason to do this. If you’re unsure of the specific group of customers you want to serve, you may start by serving a broad range of customers to find your ideal customers.
What’s the best way to build a business you love?
If you want to build a business you love, you start by finding your ideal customers. Once you find your ideal customers, you will learn more about them. You will know more about your market. And you will be in a position to design the best products and services to serve them.
“Do what you love, and you will find the way to get it out to the world.” — Judy Collins
It starts with knowing your market. In his book, Expert Secrets, Russell discusses the three core markets/desires. See the image below:
The three core markets or desires (in no particular order) are health, wealth, and relationships. When people purchase a product or service, they’re hoping to get a certain result in one of these three areas of their lives.
So, in your business, it is important to start by asking which of these three desires are my future dream customers trying to receive when they buy my product or service?
Once you have an answer to this question, you now have to dig deeper by looking at the submarkets. In the image above, if we look at health, there are many ways people can get their desires met. Diet, strength training, and nutrition are just a few ways to do so.
Finally, you will go another level deeper to what is called the “niches.” Each niche is contained within a submarket, and it’s a specific way to fulfill the desire of the submarket, which in turn fulfills the core desire. If you look at the nutrition submarket, there are niches like the ketogenic diet, paleo diet, carnivore diet, etc.
If you do this exercise of selecting a niche, it will be a lot easier to find your ideal customers. Once you find your ideal customers, you can learn more about their pains, their desires, and all they think about. You will be able to put yourself in the conversations your customers are having. And by doing this, you will develop an awesome product and service that will serve their needs.
These customers will love you, refer you, and come back again and again. Your marketing will be streamlined. You will be able to build a process that is repeatable in your business and your employees will be happier.
Ultimately, you will build a business you love.
“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” — Rumi
In my business, we started by identifying four industries we want to specifically target. And we intentionally targeted these customer segments in our advertising and promotion.
It became easier to say no to certain business opportunities that came our way. As we’re learning more and more about the importance of niching, and about our clients, we know there is plenty of work to do to narrow our market. We’re regularly brainstorming on new ideas that will allow us to focus more on a smaller segment of the market.
If you’re considering starting a new business, don’t underestimate the importance of niching to find a specific group of customers to serve. It will save you a lot of pain.
If you have an existing business, consider ways you can use your experience with your customers and market to niche further. By doing this, you may win back the lost love for your business.
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