For start-up and early stage small and home based business owners the pressure to nail down a lucrative niche and create multiple products and services is anxiety producing. I see this with my small and solo business clients all the time. The truth is there’s a fine line between researching and weighing your options so you can pick a niche that is lucrative (and also matches your passion and skill set), and being indecisive to the point of paralysis.
I teach people exactly how to identify the most profitable niche within the scope of what they can offer, because when you identify a great niche it will not be a struggle to find paying clients. I also stress the importance of not trying to build a business based on a single product or service but to develop a product funnel of multiple, related products and services that, over time, can create a healthy, steady income stream that is not totally dependent on selling time for dollars.
The problem occurs when someone starts to fear that if they don’t nail down the perfect niche and complete the creation of everything in their product funnel, they can’t move forward. The truth is that you may not be clear on your exact niche immediately. You may just have to start from where you are and try a few things out, like you’d do if you were shopping for clothes or shoes. After a while people will tell you what they need and are willing to pay you for. But if you never even start marketing your services; if you are stuck in perfectionism, you won’t make any progress at all.
This is true when it comes to creating a product funnel as well. You may really get the importance of developing a business model that provides you with multiple streams of income and that will provide your clients with many ways to buy from you again and again, but you don’t have to develop all of those products before you look for clients. Its okay to list them on your website and then develop them as the need arises. Or just list a few on your website and know that your intention is to add more as you move forward.
Here’s an example. I’ve coached a number of life coaches who know they need to specialize. Yet they fear choosing a niche because that may mean that they are walking away from potential clients in another niche, when the truth is that the more specialized you are, the more you’re perceived as an expert. Or they may have two or three possible niches they’re interested in pursuing and not feel certain which to choose. I show them how to measure the income potential of a niche and if they are more or less equal, to choose one and try it. At least they will be making progress and moving forward.
It’s important to make a distinction between creating a detailed vision of what you want your business and income to look like and mapping it out, and not moving forward until it’s all in place. The most successful Entrepreneurs understand the importance of constantly taking action. The key is to not take impulsive, random action, but to take constant action on a strategically, well thought out plan. Look at it this way; if you take no action because you’re waiting for the perfect niche and the perfect product, you’ll have no sales. If you take some action, you’ll start creating income and you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t.
If you talk to someone who is successful and they tell you they’ve had no failures, they’re not being totally truthful. I’ve had failures. I could write a book on the failed ideas I’ve had. I even had one business in which I was a partner that failed. And I became more powerful and knowledgeable with each failure. I just felt briefly disappointed, learned and moved on.
You have a reservoir of courage that you need to draw on to push you past being indecisive. Being indecisive is a symptom of being scared that you’ll make a mistake or ruin your reputation or get no sales. You may make a mistake and you may get no sales, but you won’t ruin your reputation and you will only be much better off than you are if you spend your time researching and agonizing over the right road to take. So have the courage to act even though you’re scared. That’s really the key. And if something doesn’t work, have the courage to change direction.
So right now, decide what you will start offering the world tomorrow. Take action; tell people about what you do. Ask their opinion about how you could best help them. Do surveys using Twitter, Facebook or SurveyMonkey.com and start offering your services. Remember that everything doesn’t have to be perfect—just good enough to help potential clients who need what you have to offer.© Copyright 2010 Janis Pettit