You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

Looking to Stand Out? Stake Out Your Niche Our expert says that when competing against major, established players, differentiating yourself is the key to success.

By Omer Shai

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I built a website that I hope local restaurants will be interested in using as a platform to post deals for potential consumers. Now that the site is ready to operate, I'm unsure what my next step should be. Should I create a sales page, or cold call restaurants to tell them about my website? Utilize pay per click advertising? How can I plan for a strong launch?

Your business will need to bring value to users, both customers and restaurants, and compete with established leaders like Yelp and Groupon. To be successful, you need to reach enough diners to either replace the gains of restaurants’ normal, pre-discount profit margins with a large enough volume of visitors, or provide them with means of accessing potential new diners.

The key then, is to bring in traffic. Because you'll be competing with major industry giants casting a wide net, you’ll need to differentiate yourself with a specific niche. Get the most out of a limited marketing budget by targeting all your efforts on a specific region, using your knowledge to your advantage. Another option, if you are in a major city, is to hone in on a specific cuisine. Whether it’s pizza, Asian fusion or Middle Eastern, having a specialty for which your site becomes known will help you build credibility.

Related: Defining Your Market in 7 Steps

The next step is creating buzz. Pay per click advertising is a great tool, but since your competitors have more resources it will be difficult to overcome their efforts. Instead, let your niche lead you. Social media can present a real opportunity, allowing you to target audiences by region and focus on groups that cater to your particular area of expertise. Consider adding offline marketing, such as hosted food tastings or culinary courses and advertise them in local media. Use farmers’ markets and local city-wide events as an opportunity to speak directly to your potential customers. Write articles for local outlets on the food scene, and build up credibility for you and your business.

The key is to get people talking about you, and then channeling the buzz to create wider interest. The more active you become in your region's culinary scene the more likely locals will be to associate you with it and visit your website. As you bring in more traffic, the process of procuring deals at restaurants should ease exponentially.

Launching a new business has its challenges, but if you target the right niche and invest in word of mouth marketing and media relations, you can succeed in spite of the big competition and create a profitable business.

Related: How Niche Players Can Compete Against Big Brands

 

Omer Shai

CMO of Wix

Omer Shai is a serial entrepreneur and the CMO of Wix, the leading global web development platform. Follow him at the rest of the Wix team on Twitter @Wix.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business News

James Clear Explains Why the 'Two Minute Rule' Is the Key to Long-Term Habit Building

The hardest step is usually the first one, he says. So make it short.

Business News

Microsoft's New AI Can Make Photographs Sing and Talk — and It Already Has the Mona Lisa Lip-Syncing

The VASA-1 AI model was not trained on the Mona Lisa but could animate it anyway.

Living

Get Your Business a One-Year Sam's Club Membership for Just $14

Shop for office essentials, lunch for the team, appliances, electronics, and more.

Side Hustle

He Took His Side Hustle Full-Time After Being Laid Off From Meta in 2023 — Now He Earns About $200,000 a Year: 'Sweet, Sweet Irony'

When Scott Goodfriend moved from Los Angeles to New York City, he became "obsessed" with the city's culinary offerings — and saw a business opportunity.