While attending the Xero Roadshow I had an impromptu interview with Mike Smith and Raewyn Baldwin about the success that businesses experience when they niche.
Mike Smith he is a Senior Account Manager with Xero for Queensland, it was his experience with using the Xero software that encouraged him to consider a position within Xero themselves.
Raewyn Baldwin is the Territory Manager in Queensland for Xero and has been working for them for three years now. Raewyn is passionate about catching up with small businesses and helping them to improve.
As a small business owner it is easy to find yourself burning out, attempting to be all things for all customers without any specific focus. It can even make you get to the point of hating your work, due to tiredness.
Mike Smith stated that businesses who have a sole focus or niche become known as an expert in their field, they will have people seeking them out because of their understanding. They can also be very focused in the manner they advertise and promote themselves. Niche businesses also enjoy a higher amount of referral work due to their details being given through word of mouth. As anyone can understand, this means that when a contact talks to you they are also effectively pre-qualifed and wanting to spend money. As opposed cold selling or advertising with no connection at all.
Raewyn Baldwin believes three main areas make for a success niche business and that’s People, Passion and Process. When you establish what you are passionate about, then next step is to look at different industries you want to be able to market to improve your revenue. When you look at marketing costs and being online, you can be very focused on a group.
Mike was sharing with me the example of a bookkeeper who specialises in just working with cafes. One that comes to mind for me is Cafe Bookkeepers. They have cleverly called themselves by their niche and come up immediately on any google search. They have a very clean white website with a hand holding a coffee, making their niche very obvious and easy to recognize.
Why passion is important!
Mike felt that having a passion for an area or an industry is extremely important. He related about how an accounting firm Mike knows had a passion for sport, so they made the decision to work with industry bodies in that particular field to be a leading provider.
I shared the story about another passionate bookkeeper I know called Jen Swanson. I was surprised when she shared how she was tired of being a bookkeeper at one point of her business journey, that was, until she discovered Xero in 2012. Raewyn followed on to relate how Jen moved away from just doing bookkeeping into helping business owners progress into the cloud. Jen found she had a passion for workshops and training, so she employed bookkeepers to do the day to day work of bookkeeping (which is very important) so that she could spend more time on the two areas she loved.
Mike explained that having a greater understanding of a specific industry is liberating, allowing you to attract and focus on the needs of your ideal customer.
Mike Smith shared his thoughts on value pricing:
Small Business needs to focus on making a profit, along with turnover. Value pricing is all about giving value to attract customer loyalty with repeat business.
BAS Agent and Bookkeeping