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Practice Management > Building Your Business

Selling to a new market? Make the right connections

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Hi Theresa! I have developed three niche markets over the years — two that marry up with my “previous life,” and one that I fell into, but given my skillset it worked nicely. Just as an FYI, mine are entertainment, food-based businesses and international companies opening up their first U.S. operation.

I think anytime you develop a niche market, it starts with a connection. The easiest way to get credibility with someone is to know the shoes they have walked in. I used to be an event coordinator and work with entertainers, and I also have a degree in Hospitality, so the entertainment and food businesses were a natural fit for me and I could speak their language instantly. I think sometimes we try to fit round pegs into square holes, and it never works very well. When you are looking to develop your first niche market, start with one that makes the most sense for your background. For example, I see you are a CPA; maybe your first niche could be to work with CPAs that are starting their own firms. 

If you are looking to develop a niche market that you do not have any experience in, the key is to surround yourself with people that do. Sit down with a couple clients or colleagues that are in this niche and tell them what you want to achieve. Then ask them to think of the types of business professionals that they work with (think specialized attorney, CPA, branding etc.). For example, in my third niche, international companies ALWAYS work with business managers to help them understand how it works in the U.S. and bring vendors to them. So over the years I have developed relationships with consulates, international chambers of commerce and business managers, all of whom are go-to resources for this area of my practice. 

I think it is very important to develop what I call a Personal Board of Directors for each of your niches, because the needs are so different in each area. Since I have three niches, I have three boards. For my food-based business clients, I have a go-to agriculture attorney I work with, but she would never be the person I would go to when a Netherlands-based tech company is opening up their first U.S. operation. I work with an entertainment attorney, but I’d never go to him to help with FDA approval, and so on. By traveling in these circles, it has made me a recognized insurance expert in these niches. We are able to share a lot of ideas, and collaborate on marketing strategies.

Good luck in developing your niche market. I’m sure you’ll do great!


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