Sometimes in business it's smart to strive to be a "small giant" and spend your time finding a niche, smaller market and being the best at it - in fact, dominating it.
So many times we want to go big and build big profits by expanding our offerings and reaching an every wider and wider customer base. While this does work for some companies, such as Walmart and Amazon.com, it’s often a death knell for others.
I was recently speaking with Casey Graham of The Rocket Fuel Company, who shared with me that he advises his clients that it’s best to find a niche, smaller market and be the best at it – in fact, dominating it.
Going big requires a lot of resources, more time, more energy and a much overall bigger plan of action. However, for small businesses that want to be "small giants," it’s best to spend your time and finances to constantly figure out two things:
Properly implemented customer relationship management (CRM) software can you help answer these two questions.
For example, a dog-walking business that has a solid customer basis. It’s a good idea to invest the time to build a strategy of ensuring you are providing the best service you can to these existing customers. Many times business owners spend so much time thinking of ways to drive new business that they neglect, or don’t spend nearly enough time on, ensuring they are completely satisfying their existing customers, turning them into brand evangelists and selling more to them. CRM can help analyze surveys, repeat customers, and more.
In regard to margins, some of the smartest companies in the world (Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Porter Airlines) spend a considerable amount of time fine-tuning their internal options – you should, too. For example, if you are a manufacturer, constantly analyze your operations to determine how you can make the same product for less money. What about staffing? Are you optimizing your staff to their full potential?
Your CRM software can be fine-tuned to help you measure the key performance indicators of your company, providing you with data to help you lower costs and fine-tune your company.
Part of this fine-tuning process can be to help you understand more about your customers and more about your products so you can be the best at what you sell to a defined audience. Intimately knowing what your customers want, and what you can provide to them, is a vital part of being a niche marketer with high margins.
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Ramon Ray is Marketing and Technology Evangelist at Infusionsoft and Smallbiztechnology.com. He's a speaker, media pundit, journalist and author. His latest best seller is "The Facebook Guide to Small Business Marketing".
Some of the events Ramon has produced include the Small Business Summit, Small Biz Big Things with Seth Godin and the Small Business Technology Tour. As a speaker, Ramon has presented at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas with Guy Kawasaki, SXSW, Inc 500 and more.
As a journalist and freelance writer, Ramon has written for Inc Magazine, OPEN Forum, Entrepreneur.com and Clikz.com. Although Ramon is not a comedian, his audiences find him humorous. Despite no law enforcement experience, he is a graduate of the FBI Citizens Academy. Although Ramon does not know Jim Henson, he loves to do puppet shows in developing countries. See Ramon's full bio on his website.
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