When you’ve become the best of the best…

…what do you do next?

I’ve recently begun working with a gentleman who has reached the pinnacle of his profession and finds it unfulfilling. He still enjoys his work; it’s the market he’s serving that has lost its appeal. What do you do in situations like this?

The obvious answer is find a new market, but how do you do that? Often, as a result of your success, you’ll have had opportunities to dabble in other markets. Look at those to see whether or not you enjoyed the experience. If so, ask yourself these questions:

  • Which of these experiences did I enjoy the most?
  • What made the experience so much fun?
  • What was it that attracted these customers to me?
  • What value did they see?
  • How much are they willing to pay for that value?
  • Is it more than I’m currently making?

Let’s see how each of these questions can help you formulate an effective growth strategy.

What do I enjoy most?
Your greatest value will always be in what you enjoy the most.  You’ll invest more time and energy in improving your offerings when you’re having fun.  Both you and your customers will benefit from aligning the market to your passion and strengths.

What made the experience so much fun?
Having a clear understanding of when and with whom you had the most fun will give you valuable insights into the values and characteristics you want in your ideal customer.  Being able to assess prospects in this way assures you and your customers higher levels of success.

What attracted these customers to me?
When you discover what it was that attracted these ideal customers to you, you can craft marketing messages to attract more customers just like them.

What value did they see?  How much are they willing to pay?
Regardless of how much your customers may enjoy doing business with you as a person, they’re not going to remain customers unless you’re meeting their value needs.  Knowing what they value allows you to quantify and communicate that value in ways to attract more customers like them.  Both are key elements to getting premium prices.

Is it more than I’m currently making?
I can’t tell you how often I’ve seen businesses taking on new markets that offer lower margins than they’re currently getting.  Why?  They see huge revenue potential  What these business owners/leaders don’t see is the magnitude of infrastructure investment they have to make to serve this high volume, low margin market.

It’s counter-intuitive, but finding a niche and making it a life-time endeavor is unrealistic.  Markets evolve, sometimes in ways that we don’t enjoy.  At other times, as in my client’s case, you evolve beyond the interests of the market you serve.  Either way you need to find a new market.  One that’s fun, exciting and pays even better than the one you’re leaving.

Author – Dale Furtwengler