Business Owners: Take A Risk And Niche!
by Maria Marsala

Like most folks, I made some mistakes up front in my
business career; two key mistakes were NOT creating a
business plan and NOT creating a niche or niches earlier.

Like many folks, I had a "fear" - my "fear" about niching
was that folks outside my niche would not become clients. I
enjoy doing life coaching (that's where my training from
Coach U is), but it's not my niche. I also enjoy career
coaching, which is where much of my mentoring background
comes from - also not my niche. Did I have to give up these
two pieces of my practice?

Here's what I learned:

Niching does not mean that I can't accept clients outside my
niche. Niching is done to make MY life easier. It's another
one of those business tools that is created to help me save
money and time. For marketing purposes, for the sake of
clarity, for my own health and well being - so that I'm not
all over the place "chasing" marketing - spending dollar
after dollar after dollar. Heck, there is more than enough
"stuff" for me to do as a business owner.

I remember the first time I went into a networking meeting
and introduced myself simply as a "Business Consultant and
Coach" who helped "women who own service business and
service professionals." I left the "life" off in front of
"Coach." I left the word "career" out of the sentence about
who I helped.

I was so nervous! And what happened? Well, I survived the
meeting, obviously. And, after the meeting, someone asked if
I could coach their husband who was in transition between
CAREERS! Boy, did that teach me a valuable lesson. And I did
gain a short-term female client in the service industry from
that meeting, too.

Do I ever go out of my niche for meetings or to speak? Yes,
although rarely. There are 5 or 6 life topics that I will
speak on - usually at recovery conferences or for stressed
out business owners who are just tired of the same old
speakers speaking about business :)

And even though I have a niche, that doesn't mean that I
can't choose to take on clients outside that niche. In fact,
25% of my clients are men and about that percentage also
sell products as their main business. I also have 2 career
clients in a niche (major transitions) that I enjoy working

And even though I've chosen a niche, that doesn't mean that
I can't change it, as I have, just this year. I noticed that
40% of my best - ideal clients - clients are men, while 60%
are women. Thats a big change over 2 years ago. So I decided
to "drop" the women service business part of my niche. And
that allows to change who I market to; I am no longer
looking for the narrow list of organizations that have the
word "women" in their name.

What else happens when you really monitor your business and
the clients it's brining in? Well, I also noticed that 95%
of my clients have or want an Internet presence. Not
surprising they're "attracted" to me, since I've had a huge
presence for more than 6 years. And since my clients are
owners of service businesses, it's more difficult for
someone to visit their site and "see" how my clients can
help make their lives better. That lead me to make sure that
when I introduce myself to my ideal clients or folks who
know them, that I make sure to mention that I work with
clients to create and promote information products.

Creating my niche has led folks to know me as the NY Coach
(I currently live in Washington State, so my accent and
attitude stick out just a teensy bit) who helps people get
their service business organized by creating systems,
business, and marketing plans. Or I'm known as the Business
consultant who is a geek and works with service business
owners to create products. Heck, I am remembered - for
something good - and that's part of what counts!

What also counts is that my marketing dollars are being
spent wisely. It's all much focused and it's easier to
monitor my marketing efforts, too. An additional gift of
niching? It caused me to write an ebook help my clients
create their own Ideal Client Profile and then turn the
ebook into classes I sell.

So take a risk - and niche!

(c)2005 Confidant to CEOs and Presidents. Former Wall Street
Trader. Helping owners of service businesses accelerate your
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