8 July 2022
TOPIC: Growing Your Firm
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In this blog, we are discussing how to pick a niche. If you’re someone who is struggling with deciding what niche to choose, this is a blog you don’t want to miss!
Do You Need a Niche?
Not everyone needs a niche to have success in accounting.
That said, there are some clear benefits to taking the time and developing a niche for your accounting firm.
The two major benefits of picking a niche are becoming an expert in your industry and identifying your dream client.
When you know WHO you want to work with, that makes the process of marketing, communicating, and understanding your client much easier.
Your clients are much more likely to listen to you when you’re an expert who understands them and knows how to help them.
Here is an illustration: Say you hit your head and now suffer from a brain injury.
Suppose you need to have surgery done for a brain injury. Who would you rather have, a general medical doctor (who can do surgery) or a brain surgeon?
Well, most people would end up picking the brain surgeon.
It’s because the brain surgeon has more experience working on the brain.
You will feel much safer with someone who is an expert on brain surgery than someone who works on any body part.
That’s precisely how your clients feel when you’re able to pick a niche that your clients identify with.
From a client’s perspective, you are an expert and know how to help them.
From your perspective, these dream clients will become easier to acquire, win over, and fulfill.
What Kind Of Niches Are There?
I like to break it down into three categories when picking a niche. There are broad markets, sub-markets, and narrow markets.
Broad markets are niches like “Americans,” “Small businesses,” and “Big corporations.”
Now while you are identifying a group of people, you would like to work for by picking a broad niche.
Generally, these markets are so big that you are not picking a niche at all.
For example, there are 31.7 million small businesses in the United States.
So by saying you’re an accounting firm that only helps small businesses, you are saying you’ll work with anyone.
Sub-markets are what most people consider to be a niche. This is the recommended starting point for anyone considering niching down as a firm.
Here are some examples of niches you can choose from:
- Real Estate
- Food (i.e., Restaurants)
- Personal Development
These are great niches to be in; they all have great opportunities for us as accountants.
When picking a niche, it is important to consider what services you can offer as an accountant.
From there, you can determine if you enjoy offering the service and how much you would charge.
You do still want to pick a profitable niche. One of the ways you can do that is by performing market research (more on that later).
Narrow markets are what most people like to call “sub-niches.” Sub niches are specific niches that further identify who you want to work with.
For example, If you wanted to work in the food industry, you could decide to work for local restaurants.
You could then decide to sub-niche even further by saying the kind of restaurants you want to help (i.e., Chinese restaurants).
Note: You can also work for grocery stores as a sub-niche in the food industry.
Another example, if you wanted to work in the pet industry, you could sub-niche it even more by saying what kind of pet company you wish to work for (i.e., dog training companies)
The only danger of picking a sub-niche is going so small that you won’t be able to find people to do business with.
Remember, every time you pick a niche, you are excluding other groups of people.
When you sub-niche, you exclude even more people, which is not bad.
However, you want to ensure that you are picking a market that isn’t impossible to find people in.
List Out Your Passions & Interest
This is where you can be selfish and think about what you want as a niche.
Take a minute and think about all your hobbies and things you believe in as a person.
Perhaps you are someone who cares about the environment. Working in the environmental technology sector might be your go-to niche if that’s the case.
If you are a gym nut who loves working out and staying fit, you might enjoy working for a fitness company.
Do you like to travel? There are a lot of travel companies out there who could benefit from accounting services.
Also, consider who you would like to work with and what age they would be within your market.
Do you want to work with startups filled with young 20-30-year-olds? OR do you want to work with someone more experienced in their 40-60s?
How much income would you like your dream client to make? Some accounting firms refuse to work with clients under a certain income threshold.
Leverage Your Past Success
Think back about all the achievements you had personally or as a firm.
Reflect on all the people you helped and what kind of businesses or industries they were in.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Out of all the groups of people you helped, who have you had the most success helping?
- Out of all your past achievements, which one has the greatest story?
- Which group of people do you have the best relationship with?
- What business or group of people do you enjoy working with the most?
- Which business or group of people do you find to be the most profitable to work with?
If you can’t decide between one or two niches, these are great questions to ask yourself. The niche you pick doesn’t have to be the most profitable of niches. Sometimes the niche you pick won’t check all the boxes, and that’s okay.
The important thing is that you enjoy what you’re doing and are proficient enough to help people within your market.
Conduct Market Research
Finally, once you pick your niche, you want to research it.
Here are some things you’ll want to find out.
- What challenges your clients are facing
- If there’s a need or demand for your service.
- If there’s competition (if so, then how intense is it?)
- Is the market a dying market, or is there still room for growth?
- Does this niche have high-income potential?
- How can you stand out within your market?
After answering these questions, you might return to the drawing board and pick another niche.
The important thing to remember is that no niche you pick is permanent.
If you are currently helping clients who are not your dream clients, you can still choose to work with them.
You want to start being selective of future clients you onboard and ensure they are within the market you want to break into.
Over time you will become familiar with that niche, and your value as an accountant will also increase within that niche.
Want to find out other ways to increase your value as an accountant?
Click Here to read our other blog that shows you how you became more valuable in the eyes of your clients.