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Growing Your Niche Business

(February 2010) posted on Mon Jan 25, 2010

Finely targeting your marketing efforts is an effective way to start digging out of last year’s financial woes. This article offers tips to help you on your way.

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By Mark A. Coudray

Once I have that information, I call the rep and explain that I have a way to increase his or her business. Then I ask about the marketing or sales manager for the distributor and follow up by making an appointment for a presentation. During this presentation, I outline how to use the hunting and fishing images in cooperation with a promotion aimed at all of the regional hunting and fishing shops to which they sell. They need to have at least 500 customers for this to work. Most of the distributors I work with have between 2000-5000 wholesale accounts for the markets in which I work.

Let’s say the wholesaler wants to push a specific fly-fishing reel as part of the promotion. My shop would create a killer graphic featuring that reel and make the shirts available at a very attractive price. The manufacturer of the reels will often have a co-op advertising budget to further offset the cost of the shirts. I’ve seen situations where the cost of the shirts to the end user (hunting and fishing shop) is $2.00 or less per garment with great graphics. We then offer individual personalization for $1.00 per shirt with a minimum of 36-72 pieces. In this case the local dealers get a great, personalized shirt that’s targeted to his customers for $3.00 each. The dealers buy like crazy because they can either sell the shirts at cheap price points or for more substantial markups. Either way, your business gets a flood of new customers who can buy all of your designs for next to nothing.

In this example, everyone wins. You tag onto an existing mailing list or sales force. You get new, targeted customers. You get someone else to share in the cost of the promotion. The wholesalers move reels, and the local hunting and fishing shops get a great deal they can convert into additional revenue. It’s really exciting to watch how enthusiastically everyone involved embraces this business model. If you use this approach in multiple niches, it’s easily possible to double the number of customers in a very, very short period of time. I’ve seen it happen in 90 days or less.

Increasing average order size
Boosting average order size is another easy way to increase sales. Within any niche market are two additional opportunities to increase sales: adding complementary sales and adding collateral sales.


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