Sunday, April 14, 2013

Finding your niche

Sounds simple, but it’s not that easy.  So often when I run my newbie groups, I listen to the women’s plans and by the end of the group sessions they have narrowed down the direction they want to take their business and who is their target audience.

It’s a process and when you first start out who knows where you could end up.  The key is to stay open and flexible, so that when the right opportunity comes along, you not only recognize it, but are ready to go.

Often when we first start we stick to what we know and actually that makes sense. No point in throwing away business, far better to draw on your expertise as you expand your knowledge and contact base.

To go out cold into the unknown is brave, but it can also be foolish.  When you don’t know what you don’t know, problems can creep up to bite you.  That’s not to say that you won’t be successful, but perhaps you need a financial cushion to support you as you explore these new avenues and learn a new game.  It all takes longer than you think.

There are trends in entrepreneurship.  It used to be that you needed to be a generalist, able to tackle a bit of everything.  Now the focus is on being a specialist. I suspect you have to start as a generalist, just to pay the bills and get the clients through the door, but as you build your expertise and knowledge base, then you can become more focused and build your niche.

But even then, it can change as the business evolves and you grow into your role as entrepreneur and business owner.  Sometimes we can ignore our calling and end up on a path that doesn’t suit our needs or best use our talents.  That’s when it is time to pay attention and refocus your energies on what you want out of life.

I know for myself that it is working with small groups of women that is most rewarding.  I love bringing women together and creating an intimate setting where they can be authentic and share the issues they are facing without fears of being judged or deemed lacking in some way.

However, some could say that this could be contrary to the growth of Company of Women.  But I would argue that you can grow your business in a way that fits your goals, and that you don’t have to be THE ONE all the time.  Selecting key people whose skills and values match what you want to achieve, means you can let go and focus more on what brings you joy, AND still grow your business.

Reality is, it is your business, your journey and your future.  It is therefore up to you to set a direction that suits you, your lifestyle and your family.  If you are struggling to achieve the balance you want, be aware that something has to give.  It is up to you to decide what.

1 comment:

Susan Kirschling said...

Well said Anne. Not only is the balanced with your personal versus your professional life but also the market balance. We all know an entrepreneur can't do it all. We have to pay attention to today's sophisticated market. And that means forming your business consortium for the expertise you don't have but need for a successful business venture. That's where networking, such as the Company of Women, plays a role.