Why you’re afraid to niche down

Niching down is a bit like content. Everyone preaches about why we should do it. Yet when it comes to ourselves, we have a problem where we’re biased to our own reasons as to why we can’t do it.

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Everyone reading this post knows that you should be dieting and eating right and going to the gym to exercise. And yet everyone has an excuse as to why they don’t do it. Everyone knows that we should be writing content regularly and updating content, updating our blog and sharing it with people and yet we are biased to our own excuses and creating our own niche is the exact same.

We all know that we need to have a defined niche and a defined market. It makes me laugh when we go to networking events or I go to networking events. and I ask “so who’s your target market?”

They’ll say “small businesses”.

I’m like, “oh your target market is 99% of the GDP of the United Kingdom?”

Small business is responsible for an enormous portion of the market and small business isn’t a defined market. Interestingly, if you were to say “I go to enterprise level businesses” that is a fraction of the the size of the entire, you know, small business market. So weirdly, saying you only work with enterprise level businesses would be more specific. So we’re all very biased as to why we don’t niche down.

Committing to a niche is like any other leap of faith. It’s not necessarily the actions of deciding a niche that’s difficult. It’s the fact that it requires getting over your fear and taking some risks and commitment. Which is terrifying to some people.

There are so many parts of our business that require a leap of faith. It was the same when we all started our business. We’re quick to forget what it’s like when we started our business. People told us it was insane. They said “oh you know that 90% of businesses fail within the first year and 90 percent of businesses fail the year after that”.

There’s all these other leaps of faith and yet the one leap of faith that’s left for us, which is often something we should be doing right at the beginning, is committing to a niche. And all it requires is getting over our fear getting over risk and committing to it.

We’re really good at recognizing other successful niches. We’re good at recognizing other successful niches. At the moment online learning and courses. That’s the big niche. That’s where everyone’s putting their money. What happens with successful niches?

Christmas last year was Bitcoin and crypto-currency. Everyone is going crazy over crypto-currency and saying “this kid, you know he’s made $13 million in six weeks because it went from $1000 up to $15000 per bitcoin”.

That was a successful niche. Before that it was fidget spinners. Everyone remembers last year it was fidget spinners people saying “oh you’ve got to get into fidgets spinners. Just buy 1000 from Ali Baba, stick it on Amazon and you’ll double your money”.

Before that was drop-shipping in general. Everyone was talking about drop shipping. We’re really good at recognizing when other niches are successful. But the interesting thing is that 90% of want-repreneurs (people who want to be entrepreneurs = want-repreneurs), will keep following successful niche after successful niche and they’ll keep trying to chase it.

They’ll keep thinking “well this is where the money is. This thing that I finally get. This is where the money is”.

And we’re also very good at recognizing longer term successful niches. We look at things like AirBnB, we look at that and think what an obvious idea!?

People who want to rent their house out when they’re away. And basically the concept was originally Air Bed and Breakfast so if you had a spare air bed in your house, you could rent it out.$10 and you’d sleep in the living room or the spare room on an air bed. Over time it’s grown. That’s the successful news.

It’s far easier to see where other people have been successful. And this is another bias that we have that slants our perception.

There is no such thing as a profitable niche. By definition there is no such thing as a profitable niche. It is entirely about your commitment to the niche and what you make of it. It’s about what you decide to go after.

There is no such thing as a successful marriage. There are marriages that people commit to and work on. There’s no such thing as a profitable business. There are businesses that keep going and make money in the long term. We use things like mining for gold or finding a gold nugget or digging for gold. And the reality is that we keep digging in one spot. We’re always bound to find something.

It’s not necessarily that a new location is the single magic key to profits. It’s your commitment that creates profit.

In his book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill tells the story of R. U. Harby.

Harby bought a load of mining machinery and dug for gold with his uncle. They had some initial success but eventually the gold dried up.

He sold it to a scrap dealer the scrap dealer bought the equipment for a few hundred doillars, compared to the thousands of dollars it was originally bought for. The scrap dealer went back to the same spot, hired a gold mining engineer and dug and he was 3 feet away from millions of dollars of gold.

He was three feet away from a gold mine and the scrap dealer ended up making a fortune. It was literally three feet away and what they found is that he was spending so much time finding new plots and going and digging and digging and digging and moving to different spots.

I promise you that my biggest revelation with picking a niche was realising that what’s stopping me, was the fear that I will make the wrong decision.

This is a steel bar. I don’t know what else to say about it.

It costs about £11 or £13 including VAT. This steel bar is the equivalent of a niche. I’m going to give you this niche. I’m going to give you this steel bar and what you decide to do with the steel bar is entirely up to you. But some choices will have wildly different profit margins.

Whatever you do with the steel determines its value. Just like with the niche. Whatever you do with the niche determines its value. Whatever you do with the steel the terms value .

You could create a horse shoe which sells for about £10. I actually called up our local farrier and asked “how much would a horse cost to make?” and he said “well from this bar here about two or three decent ones”.

If you sold three you would probably triple your costs, if we exclude labor. Steel cables are pretty much the exact same material. There is a little bit of refinement of course, but you can sell it for £100+ for the same material.

With the same steel bar, you can make hypodermic needles and charge a lot more still. Reaching into £1000’s for hypodermic needles.

Or you could make a balance spring for a watch from essentially the same material. The same steel company ships steel to a variety of companies. Some of them are going to make a balance spring for a watch for £300 000, but other people are going to create hypodermic needles and some are going to make horse shoes.

You decide what to do with your niche and that is what will determine how successful it is. This is a critical. When ask me “do you think this would be a good niche, do you think this wouldn’t be a good niche?”

There’s no way of me knowing. There’s no way of anyone knowing. There’s no way of the world’s best entrepreneurs and business owners knowing.

It’s not even the experts who know when things are gonna be successful. It’s entirely up to you whether something will become successful. There’s no such thing as too specific either.

This is a big deal. Niches create depth. A lot of people want to niche down, but the thing that stops them, is fear of missing out. The only way you can overcome that fear, is by committing to your niche and dedicating everything you have to making it successful.

What’s your niche? Do you have one? Let me know in the comments below. If you want to learn how to build the right niche for your business, then sign up here for your free training on discovering a niche for your funnel business.

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Mike Killen

Mike is the world's #1 sales coach for marketing funnel builders. He helps funnel builders sell marketing funnels to their customers. He is the author of From Single To Scale; How single-person, small and micro-businesses can scale their business to profit. You can find him on Twitter @mike_killen.