There is a saying that there is no such thing as bad publicity. When you try and find a niche for your business, should you consider popular sentiment when trying to find an edge?
We always advise finding a niche for your business, if possible. Even smaller ones can be profitable, as when you cater to a niche, word of mouth and positive press can both be force multipliers for the growth of your business.
While we definitely advise to go after a niche when it is hot, there are a couple of things you need to make sure of before you tackle the job.
For this article, we are going to assume there are two types of niches:
- Mild, or politically neutral/safe.
- Spicy, or controversial (even if you do not think it is).
So, a mild one would be opening a Cuban restaurant in an area with a lot of Cubans and no Cuban restaurants. A spicy one would be something that is currently in the news, or trending, that is surrounded by polarizing views.
Our Case Study
A new notary business has recently hit the news, over its niche. All the news we’ve seen has been positive and now they’ll get some from us, for whatever that is worth.
Momma B (Mobile) Notary opened recently in Wichita, Kansas, serving all, but focusing on the transgender market. Transgender rights have been expanding across the country, though it does remain a hot potato to many.
Does it Align with Your Core Values?
For a lot of small businesses, the conversation on finding a niche starts and ends here. And we agree that this is the first question you should ask. If your company does not sound comfortable and confident concerning your niche, you probably are not going to do it well.
So, let’s take a look at Momma B.
The owner, Brenda Way is a transexual who has been an activist in the community for years. She has raised money for things like clothing and body care supplies, as well as doctors and therapists visits.
Way said “one of my happiest moments” was when she helped about 25 people get their names legally changed along with the gender markers on their drivers’ licenses.Wichita Eagle
In other words, this niche is right up her alley. It is something she believes in, and something her company can speak on comfortably, confidently and with a level of authority.
So, Momma B is looking like a winner here.
How Do You Market to Your Niche?
First, find a reason they need marketing to. Are they underserved? Has something recently changed? Is it an emerging or expanding market?
“Since (Gov. Laura Kelly helped) get the law changed in Kansas, trans people can now get their names and gender marker amended on their certificates of live birth. Part of that process is getting some papers notarized,” Way wrote.Wichita Eagle
Momma B is capitalizing on a change in the law that leads to a new emerging market. And by getting out ahead of potential competitors, the business gains an advantage.
Beyond that, she found specific documents that can now be updated and notarized, and has positioned the business as the business you deal with in this niche.
But, Can She Expand Her Market?
Yes. Momma B plans to go mobile, performing signings across the area, many that seem to be for groups, so the business can perform multiple signings for the most people in the shortest amount of time.
Can She Spread the Word Without a Large Marketing Budget?
Yes, she can.
First of all, the publicity has helped to position Momma B as the groundbreaker in the niche. Solid press that reaches across the country is invaluable. So many small businesses never have this happen, so to have these types of stories out when you open provides the kick start most businesses only dream of.
Beyond that, like we said with niche businesses, they can spread considerably by word of mouth.
Momma B has this covered as well. For now, the company will offer half price discount for notarizations for transgenders, if the person agrees to tell someone else about the service.
From a marketing viewpoint, Momma B is top notch. She found/devised:
- the right niche
- an emerging and growing market
- a plan to reach the niche
- first class publicity
- a way to spread word of mouth
- a way to operate to bring the company into profitability
- a way to separate her business from her competitors.
We all have to understand we live in a highly divisive time. One where people readily put their mouth where it does not need to be. Hopefully that will change in the future, but we live in the present.
While Momma B’s has seen good press, there have also been a couple of comments sections we’ve seen that had to be disabled. And all of us have seen too many businesses derided, protested and boycotted for what most would consider trivial reasons.
But Mamma B has an advantage here as well. The core values are their niche. Their niche is the embodiment of their core values.
In the past week, we’ve seen the NBA exposed for not really caring about their core values. And they have taken a beating for it.
Because when your core values are not something you truly believe in, eventually you will be exposed.
Every mobile notary that wants to see an excellent example of branding and marketing their business should study Momma B.
As of this writing, the Momma B website is not yet finished. We will provide a link when it is ready.