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Specifically Speaking

Do I need to niche or no?

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This story appears in the July 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Question: I understand the need to focus and find a niche. However, when I come up with a good niche, I think of all the reasons it won't work and I'm back to square one. Is it better to begin marketing my business to a more general audience, so I can get started and then find my niche, or vice versa? Help!

Heather Malecha

Northfield, Minnesota

Answer: We strongly believe in identifying with a specialty or niche when you're starting out. It creates the impression that you have know-how, so even people who aren't interested in your specialty will respect your skills and ask "Do you also do . . . ?" or "Could you also work with . . . ?" Through having a well-defined niche, your first clients may not even be in the specialty you've identified. It's possible that your initial client or clients may lead you to a different specialty or niche market.

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