Niche (noun) : a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service. (Etymology) : From the French for “nest.”

As a painting business owner, perhaps you don’t have a “specialty.” Maybe you don’t have a primary area or two of focus within your services. Figuring out what your niche is can be difficult because it may feel like you’re shrinking your list of services. By deciding that you specialize in a certain area you might feel like you’re declaring incompetence in other areas. But choosing to narrow your emphasis to certain “nests” of service might prove to a key to your success.

Here is why having a niche is advantageous to you:

  • When you choose a niche, you help to grow your business by offering those services that you do well. If you choose to focus on those areas of excellence within your company, you can be more confident in the quality of your work. Your company will benefit through an emphasis on your strengths.
  • When you choose a niche, your company becomes more streamlined. Streamlining promotes efficiency because you’re not juggling multiple things at once. You don’t have to switch gears as often. You don’t need to diversify your equipment, inventory, or staff.
  • When you choose a niche, you establish yourself as a specialist. In other industries it is common to find specialists. In the medical field, for example, you have cardiologists and oncologists and pediatricians who aren’t jack of all trades – they are masters of one. Why can’t you do the same in your painting business?

When you decide to choose your niche, consider the following:

  • Examine your competitors to ensure you’re not joining an already flooded market. Ideally you would find an area of specialization that is lacking in your community. For example: if exterior painters are a dime a dozen, it would be a good idea to specialize in another area.
  • Study your past work. You might think you have a good concept of your strengths as a company, but by looking back on your past work you may surprise yourself. Do your homework and you might find a hidden strength. A good place to start might be your library of customer reviews – your past customers might be the ones who tell you where you shine.
  • Remember that you can keep your full list of services while maintaining your niche. You’re free to work in any form you prefer, all the while keeping your emphasis on your niche. Use your niche as an advertising tool but don’t feel that you need to turn away work.

To conclude: as you continue to build your painting business, consider choosing a “nest” of focus. You may discover that narrowing your emphasis will broaden your reach.

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