Is “Niche” a Conspiracy Perpetuated By Us Business Coaches??!

Short answer is, Yes, and No.

No – because “niche” is somewhat an intellectual construct that helps us wrap our head around the marketing thing, and it is very useful. It gives us a starting point, a home base and a framework to do our research, communicate* our message and create our offerings.

(* communicate, not create – that’s why it should not be the driving force in my opinion. More on that soon.)

Yes – because it is an easy thing to label** and “package”, making it an easy “thing” to sell. Even though defining one’s niche definitely has its merit, some programs and trainings on this subject may be blowing it somewhat out of proportion – like, it’s the magic pill that will relieve all your pain if you just “find your niche.”

Sadly, the problem lies in many people getting “pushed” into a niche (because they were told they need to have one right here right now) before they are ready to “claim it”, picking something half-assed-ly from a “niche menu” (because someone told them it is “viable” or “lucrative”) only to find out it does not resonate with them after they spent months going down the rabbit hole of building everything around this “made-believe” niche.

(** in my opinion, labeling tend to limit our perspective and make us susceptible to preconceptions, so we got spoon-fed other people’s definition without thinking through what something truly mean for us.)

What do I do with my clients when it comes to this “niche” thing?

Since my schtick is to help my peeps find their passion and conviction, so they can nail their message, claim their superpowers and monetize their Truth, building a solid foundation with clarity is my priority.

A comprehensive approach to “niching” involves quite a few layers and multiple aspects, and is often a good starting point to get clarity. “Niche” is a term most people can put their fingers on, giving us a common ground to get going.

The concept is still very important and relevant, but I believe it has to be utilized from a different perspective.

“Find your niche” is never the be-all-end-all, and it requires more depth and self-reflection than just listing some demographic data, or going onto Google Ad Words and let some keywords (aka other people’s worldview) define the most fundamental piece of your business – your “what” “why” “how” and “who”.

Research Data Equals Other People’s Worldview.

Many business and marketing trainings start with “niche” – with a lot of attention to the research bit – giving the impression that it’s “step 1” in building a business. Most of them gloss over YOU and jump into the potential clients, the market and the research. (Those are important, but they are the “cart.”)

But wait. If you start by looking outward and let the foundation of your business determined by external factors from research and data, you are negating the driving force behind your business – YOU. (That would be the “horse.”)

What do you think about that young kid who wants to get rich quick online by selling some pregnancy info product even though he has no clue what pregnancy is about, has not experienced it, has no passion in the subject matter and no interest in helping pregnancy woman?

If you allow data and data alone to determine your strategies, you are letting other people’s worldview drive your business (even your destiny.)

Data are representations of the past. They serve to inform. They cannot synthesize and innovate without human creativity.

In a way, data are “memories” – they are (interpreted) fragments of the past, not the “now.” There is a saying, if you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always have gotten.

If you stick with the marketplace’s collective memory, you will produce something that reflects the “what has been”, not something innovative that looks to the future.

ok, stop, and chew on that for a moment.

Is there a happy place between looking inward but risk “navel-gazing” and looking outward but risk having data drive your “what” “how” and “who”?

Where do we start? It’s not about tossing what we know about target market research out the window. It’s about not accepting it as “step 1” in your process. It is about putting the “cart” in its rightful place.

Start by asking what YOU and your business is about –

Why the heck did you go into business in the first place? (Be selfish here. No body is judging, you don’t have to save the world.)
What do you want your business to do FOR you?
What is your passion and conviction? What are YOU about? What riles you up? What makes you angry about your industry?
What are your superpowers?
How are you going to blend desires, conviction, superpowers altogether and express it fully in your business so your personality shines through?
Who do you want to work with that will really light you up? Don’t give me women 25-45, because I don’t think all women 25-45 will light you up.
How does your conviction apply to these people? How can your superpowers serve them in a way that others can’t?
If you nail these questions with answers that are true to your core, you would feel a level of FIRE and conviction that will make you feel you’ve gotta make this work.

You are not going to bend your message to fit some market research data. You are going to wrap them around your message to make marketing work FOR you big WHY.

I find research data to be most useful in understanding human psychology and behavior.

Understanding your niche through marketing research helps you communicate your big message (which comes from YOU). It does not create your message. It helps you position your message so your ideal clients will understand the value you provide, in a context they can relate. It is not the driving force behind your business.

Your clarity and conviction birth your message. Mix it with your Who and your Superpowers, then, only then, add some data sauce, is when “niche” is nailed.

Don’t put the cart in front of the horse… don’t let “marketing” drive your big WHY.

Make marketing serve you. Don’t work for marketing.

Don’t pick a niche from the niche menu just because someone says it’s viable or lucrative, and mold your message (your Truth) around it. That rarely works because the conviction and the passion are not there. You won’t be convincing no matter how many “sales page templates” or “video script generators” you buy.

It is much easier to position your passion, conviction and superpowers in the market, than to stuff yourself into a box and call something not your passion your passion, because you can’t find freedom in confinement.

When you have that Trust and conviction, you are going to work around it to make it work. When you have that trust and conviction, you DARE to make YOURSELF the niche, if that’s what you need to do to make it work.

Travelling for Business in the US? Watch Out for These Airports

Business travel to the US isn’t all about procuring your VISA (or ESTA–for people from visa waiver program countries, like Ireland).If you want a smooth trip you have to consider other little things that can happen on the way. Other things which, if ignored, can hamper your meeting up with your arrangements.The United States can be a frustrating place to travel. The earlier you realise that the better you will plan, and the easier your business trips will be.

One area of planning many business travellers neglect is their flight route. It’s possible that your business arrangements in the US require that you to move from one state to another, and it’s very likely you will be using domestic flights in the country to achieve your movements. The bad news is that flight delays in US airports are worsening. To help you with your planning in this crucial area here are five airports to watch out for, so that your flights don’t get delayed and thus ruin your business plans.

Midway, Chicago

If you ever find yourself in Chicago, avoid Midway International airport. It is notorious as US’s slowest airport. It is said that one in every three planes that leave the airport experiences a delay.

However, if you can’t help it and feel you must travel via Midway, then aim for flights leaving around noon when the airport sees fewer delays.

Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area

Of the three airports serving the Baltimore-Washington Area in the US, Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport commands the highest traffic. In fact, about 71% of flights leaving Baltimore between 8pm and 11pm experience one sort of delay or another.

The best time to depart from the airport without much delay is between 10am and noon.

North-eastern Denver, Colorado

Denver International airport, with its tent-like roofs, is another airport in the US known for leaving behind schedule. About 33% of flights from the airport leave later than planned from 2pm upwards. Hence, it might do you some good to avoid the airport entirely. Otherwise, travel around 9am and hope for the best.

Illinois, Chicago

If you can stay away from Chicago completely during your business travel, by all means do so. It seems the State has a flair for flight delays and would only mess up your calendar.

O’Hare International Airport, like her sister, Midway International, is racked with flight delays. Although more than 80% of morning flights depart from the airport without any hiccups, the reverse is almost the case from 10pm—far more than half of late night flights leave behind schedule.

Las Vegas, Nevada

McCarran International Airport, the main airport in the Las Vegas Valley, is another departure option that can work against you. So if you plan on taking a quick detour to Las Vegas on your business trip, think twice and remove casinos from your mind.

A little over a third of flights departing from this airport are delayed in the afternoon and evening. So if something happens and you find yourself in Las Vegas, you should save yourself some headaches and board a morning flight.

Planning flights can save you a lot of stress. Get to know which airports are the best to fly into and out of, and leave plenty of time in your schedule if you are using some of the worst airports for delays.

US Small Business Banking Trends

Small businesses operating in the U.S. currently number at 29 million; and a major portion of these require financial solutions such as cash and credit management, trade financing, payroll processing, and treasury services. Banks that successfully targeted the small business segment have earned higher net interest margin (NIM) and return on assets (ROA).

Banks trying to gain a competitive edge and a bigger share of the small business markets have to be cognizant of various behavioral, economic, regulatory, and technological challenges. Banks also need to design their product portfolio to match the specific requirements of small businesses and also determine the best channel to deliver their products.

Bankers are focusing on direct marketing t o meet the high financial challenges, i.e. the cost of serving small business owners. Acknowledging that the cost of serving new customers is almost 10 times the cost of serving existing customers, most small business bankers are now involved in up-selling and cross-selling of services to existing customers. The current economic environment has changed the landscape for small businesses. Banks also need to provide them the right product at attractive cost, and learn how to evolve their risk profile to accommodate a wider audience.

‘U.S. Small Business Banking Trends’ is a study of small businesses using banking products and the changing trends in small business banking. The study is designed to provide insights on the behavioral aspects of the small businesses towards the banking products offered by large as well as small banks.

Scope of the report

Strategy formulation

This section seeks to provide a schematic of the marketplace under study; and to enable t he report user to determine their competitiveness and positioning in the market. Through our in-depth understanding of the financial services industry, we size the market, identify the trends and drivers, and develop the right framework for strategy formulation to help users maintain or enhance their market position.

Business Model

This section seeks to identify the already existing business models; and to optimize these models in order to help FIs enter new and lucrative markets.

Vendor Selection

This section seeks to profile the companies supporting the market under study. We profile the top vendors and analyze user perspectives to help you make the best decision for your financial institution. Every report includes in- depth reviews of the top vendors.

What makes our report unique?

A strong heritage of providing cutting- edge research:
MarketsandMarkets provides clients with ground breaking marketing research. M&M’s unique research methodology and expert analytical capabilities will provide you the tools to apply the best marketing practices to your Financial Institution.

Ensure that your strategy is viable:
Our study will help you examine the breadth of possibilities you may encounter when planning future strategies and product launches. It will help you create plans that are resilient enough to meet the full range of unanticipated events.

Discover new opportunities:
This market research study will forecast the future roles, uses, and acceptances of new products, services, and applications emerging in the marketplace. It will identify opportunities where companies can get a leg up on the competition.

Key questions answered

1. How is the landscape of small business banking industry changing?
2. What is the right channel or mix of channels that will drive conversion?
3. Can the message position your offer better than your competition? How can the message help you keep existing customers and acquire new customers?
4. Is there a vertical, demographic, or workflow benefit trait that identifies the small business owner as a potential customer? For example, one such construct may be on customer value and financial value.
5. What process does the small business owner go through for selecting a banking product? Our unique process determines the trigger points to help you close every sale.
6. Who are the industry leaders and what are they doing to retain their position?
7. What are the major drivers and opportunities in the market?
8. What is the competitive outlook, what are the major tools and services, who are the major players in the market segments?

Powerful Research and analysis

The analysts working with MarketsandMarkets come from renowned publishers and market research firms globally, adding their expertise and domain understanding. We get the facts from over 22,000 news and information sources, a huge database of key industry participants and draw on our relationships with more than 900 market research companies.