As a Small Business Owner sometimes we think of our business as Small “Big Business.” We market services like big business, but different. Your small business is actually “weird” when compared a to big business. Marketing thought leader Seth Godin came up with “The Weird.” Which I think sounds weird? But it actually makes a lot sense, let me explain: In big business you are always looking for ways to take a product and make it scalable so you can produce for the masses. When Steve Job’s took over Apple again in 1997, after being booted out, he found their products were being specially produced for certain merchants. He quickly reduced their product line by 70% to just 4 products. This would prove to be invaluable in Apple’s journey to becoming the powerhouse brand that is today.
Apple’s example also presents a huge opportunity for the small business owner. Since most big businesses are focused on economies of scale, you don’t have to be. You find a niche or under-served market and simply serve that market, maybe the one that apple stopped producing for. Serving specialized and catering to specific markets is what Seth refers to as “The Weird.” It’s creating products or services and marketing them to smaller groups, something big business doesn’t understand. You don’t have to be the Jiffy Lube in your neighborhood, but rather the Toyota specialist.
We can use this notion of the weird with our small businesses by focusing on products and services in markets where needs or wants are not being met. This can also help with your positioning as an expert in a specific field or for example, the go to person for computers software built out for a specific industry not available at big box retailers.
By focusing on industry specific needs you can leverage your time by increasing exposure to the market and increase value since you are so specialized. Some businesses can grow off that one niche, which is a small business advantage. Another benefit is you can than develop cross-markets as time goes on to grow your business too. Think of your business and who you market to today, can you find a under-served niche and step to serve that niche?
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