It’s about community.
Small businesses thrive based on their ability to create a community, both in business and with customers. However, in the age of unicorn start-ups and young solopreneurs, that realization has gotten lost with the rise of technology.
Globalization has allowed more companies to take advantage of the internet to reach customers across the seas. Yet, minority-owned businesses should caution putting all their resources in this expansion.
ADJUSTING TO THE MARKET
Minority-owned firms represent about 26% of small businesses in the United States, And, minorities only represent about 40.3% of the population in the United States.
So, the average minority-owned firm in a select niche may see opportunity in appealing to the entire population. This will increase their market size and provide greater sales opportunities. However, thinking is faulty. It fails to consider the idea of cultural unity.
That brings us to the idea of “Specialized Cultural Niches.”
THE VALUE OF NICHES
Successful small businesses begin their journey with a niche before venturing into a wider audience. This leads to faster results, loyal clientele, and steady income for expansion.
So, getting back to this idea of “community,” take Facebook Groups. These entities prosper with increasing numbers and high engagement. And, for small businesses that facilitate these groups product sales also swell.
But what makes this strategy so successful is the unity between members of these groups. They unite around the product, service, or topic defined by these online communities. Members are given a platform to voice their experiences with people who understand. More importantly, they are passionate about supporting the success of that product, service, or topic.
While this online unity is artificially created, cultural unity is not. And, a minority-owned business must take advantage of having a natural community of potential customers.
SPECIALIZED CULTURAL NICHES
Take the case of WeBuyBlack – the largest online marketplace for black-owned businesses. This company is clear in its target market and has amassed a large highly-engaged audience of businesses and customers in less than two years.
This is the effect of defining a niche that is personalized to your culture. In the case of WeBuyBlack, the company succeeds because its community wants it to succeed. It is a level of association where if the company fails, they fail…or lose the connection.
Therefore, if you are a minority-owned small business that devalues the power of your cultural community, the value of your company will respond accordingly.
BUILDING A SPECIALIZED CULTURAL NICHE
A name change is not required to build a specialized cultural niche. Here are two strategies to create a thriving community:
- Pivot Your Branding: Use your website and social channels to appeal to your cultural community. Deliver content that addresses issues important to your community that your business solves. This process should feel natural. It can be as simple as monthly feature stories on select customers.
Depending on your business, you can even be more direct in your desire to serve your cultural community using marketing strategies such as SEO.
- Redefine Your Sales Process: Who are you cold-calling? How is your digital campaign copy? Look for creative ways to get in front of your community. Make sales calls to businesses owned by people who identify with your culture. Buy sponsored posts from Instagram pages directed toward your cultural audience. Write a guest blog post on key influencer websites. Your business will get what it attracts.
EXPANDING TO A LARGER AUDIENCE
If you desire to expand from niche to mass audience and continue to serve your diverse audience, the options are limitless.
- Personalize An Offer: In the case of a fitness company your primary training space may be for all fitness goers. But, off-site training or cardio classes may be marketed directly towards your cultural audience. This will allow you to benefit from a serving specialized cultural niche. Member numbers will grow across the board, and your cultural community will help facilitate your expansion.
This strategy can also be performed in reverse for small businesses expanding from niche to a larger market.
- Expand Your Company: Why limit yourself to one enterprise? Begin developing a new small business or subsidy. You benefit from already having an audience invested in your future ventures. Plus, you will have the flexibility to expand your market without your cultural community being rejected.
The new project does not have to be game-changing. For example, a minority-owned CPA firm can develop an online bookkeeping service. It can be owned by the same company while under a different name.
Culture is special. And, while the word “minority” may appear inferior, there is an inherent strength for businesses that wear it proudly. Take advantage of being in a unique category of small business by being open to serving those that identify with you most.
Business is really a personal transaction. And, the more customers can associate themselves with your business, the more your small business will grow.
ACTION STEPS: Identify your cultural community. What is the size of the market based on your industry? Where can your cultural community be reached? Once you can answer these questions begin using a strategy above that best fits your business. If you need help cultivating your community and redefining your sales process with expert guidance click here to get the answers you need. We will show the right marketing channel for reaching your cultural community and provide you the tools to get fast results plus…it’s FREE.