Monday, September 24, 2012

Exploiting a Niche

People walking down urban street lined with apartments.
University-area apartment buildings are a niche that many have exploited.
Musings on exploiting a niche: I was at a recent dinner party for a nonprofit Board I was invited to join. (And I did. ) One of the attendees was talking about how he exploited the student housing niche over the last 2-3 decades. He started with one apartment near a large local university (in this case, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill). He focused/stayed on it until it cash flowed nicely, then he did it again. And again. And again. And so on.

This individual honed his strategy and his systems. He branched out to a broader geographical area but with the same focus - apartments near colleges and universities. He has done quite well (i.e., he is wealthy and financially independent) doing this. He advocated that I do the same.

I also read an article in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) about smaller entities buying up ailing older mall properties. This is the same principle - niche exploitation. You make more money and get better at what you do (not necessarily in that order!) when you focus on learning about, serving, and ultimately exploiting a niche.

Even if you wish to expand your offerings, focusing on one niche at first, allows you to hone your product, system, marketing and strategy and do one thing extremely well. This is a play on the saying, "You can please some people some of the time but you can't please everyone all of the time. "

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