770_4644595When you first start a business, it’s tempting to over-diversify in what you sell. A customer suggests you add

[product or service somewhat like what you already sell, but not entirely] to your inventory. You think it sounds like a great way to make more money, so you expand your offering.

The problem with this strategy is that it dilutes your core offering. Let’s say you own a handcrafted soap shop and recently added clothing to your inventory. You might be so busy managing that inventory that you spend less time making quality soap. Or your core customers, who come back to you again and again for your soap products, are turned off suddenly, since clothing doesn’t relate to what they’ve come to expect from your store.

Either way, you lose.

It’s tempting to try to sell all things to all kinds of people, but this shotgun approach will do you more harm than good. It’s a better strategy to zero in on what you’re best at, and leave the rest.

Not Sure if You Have a Niche?

Consider this: your customers should be able to explain what you sell in a sentence. Not a paragraph. If your list of offerings is too long, they won’t know what you stand for, or what your real focus is. It’s confusing to customers when you don’t know your own niche, so pick what you want to pinpoint on, and work to attract more customers who want those products or services.

1. Assess Your Products

Not sure what you’re best at selling? Take a look at your sales records. What items do you restock frequently, or if you sell services, what services do people come to you the most to purchase?

Also consider what you enjoy selling. If you sell a lot of business coaching services but prefer to sell the training programs you offer, your own desires should be considered. No business owner ever thrived by selling what he hated to sell.

2. Look at Your Low Sellers

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have those items that aren’t selling well. These are easy to drop. Liquidate them. Put them on clearance. Take them off of your website. Forget you ever offered them.

3. Decide What to Do with the Middle

The middle of your products spectrum is the hardest part to handle. You’ve got to cull out what you don’t want to sell and focus on the gems. It’s hard letting go initially, but the more you home in on your niche, the stronger you’ll be at offering that handful of products or services.

The more effort you put into marketing a few products, rather than dozens, the stronger your branding message will become, and you’ll quickly be known for selling those particular services.

 Image: PhotoSpin