Business Tip: How To Know When It’s Time To Change Niches

20160103_115637 My business, The Jewelry Lady, is changing focuses. When I opened, I thought I knew what niche I was in (even though all the indicators said otherwise).  After making several (billion) attempts at advertising, marketing, promoting, etc., I finally realized what was wrong.  I hadn’t identified and stayed true to the niche I had a passion for. Don’t get me wrong, I’d made quite a few sales, and many were quite profitable. But too many were of items that were more effort than they were worth.  And my selection was all over the place so it was hard to explain to potential customers what I sold.  That’s not good.  Ever.  So I decided to do something about it!

First and foremost, I won’t be selling much sterling silver at all this year. There are 5 reasons.

1. Too much risk.
Once you finally find what you want, you have to wait for it to arrive, pray it’s the correct item, pray it’s the correct number of them, pray it’s not damaged in the mail, pray you get it in time, pray you can deliver it in time, pray it’s not damaged again in the mail when I send it to the customer & pray they get it at all. Too muuuuuuch. And before you suggest dropshipping, don’t. I don’t believe in my customer getting something I haven’t personally inspected myself. If something goes wrong & there’s no evidence of who messed up, you end up with damaged product on your hands & you lost money. You may also have to reorder and ship again, costing you double!  Oh and I’ve been duped before on some fake sterling silver.  If I can’t guarantee that it’s real to my customers, I can’t continue to sell it.  Too much risk.

2. Too little profit
You see all this work? Was the initial amount charged worth all of that? Most likely not. But you can’t risk pricing yourself out of business, so it’s best to cut anything that’s costing you too much time, effort or money.

3. Too much work
It takes a lot of time to find what people want. You have to find a reputable dealer within your price range, in a reasonable distance, with a return policy & pray they’re not out of stock when you need it. Man, enough!

4. Too much drama
I pride myself on carrying unique styles. I love the niche that I’ve created for myself by doing that. You won’t see my styles in every store & you won’t see it at the price I ask. But what I don’t enjoy is the customer who thinks that there are as many styles in sterling silver as there are in fashion jewelry. No, you’re not going to find many statement necklaces in sterling silver for less than $30. Sorry. And p.s, it’s not me trying to be difficult. Just do a Google search and you’ll see what I mean. If I’m wrong, let me know. But I’m still not the one selling it. You’d do best to go with that business, because they specialize in that.

5. I don’t even wear sterling silver often.
One of the rules of owning your own fashion related business is to be your own billboard. I don’t wear sterling silver that much because it isn’t really my thing. So as much as I hear the mantra, “give the people what they want”, it fades in comparison to the blaring of “stick to what you’re good at”. I’ve given up on running after any and every sale. It’s ridiculous and it never ends well. You know those people in sales who are sharks, bitter or bullies? They’re chasing after money. I choose not to go that route. So I’m going back to wearing what I love, getting compliments on it, passing them a card & receiving sales. Works every time.

My second big issue was that my data didn’t lie.  Near the end of last year I put out a Facebook ad to my customers & very few responded.  I thought they would have jumped at it!  But when I looked at it a month later, I realized there was no synchronicity.  There was a big mish-mash of items that I had in stock.  Even I wasn’t impressed.  I decided to try a different tactic.  I put out another promo just to individuals who wanted to buy what I loved to sell, there was a tremendous response!!  So what did I learn?  Go get the customers who’d been out there waiting for me!  The great thing is, I already had everything in place to handle the mass of customers I’d received, I just needed to put my net where my fish were.  This may mean I may lose a few customers, but my data showed that I’ve got 37 times more potential customers than current ones.  So what am I waiting for??  Nothing.  I’m jumping on those customers who love what I love!

To close, I want to say that I absolutely ADORE my past & current 20160103_120915customers (whether they’re in my niche or not)! I’ve only had to fire 3 without them knowing it (that’s another business secret I’ll tell you about-let me know if you’re interested). I love their energy, the fact that most are gift givers (but they’re usually the one who needs a gift themselves), they’re supportive, patient and a TON of fun! I enjoy them and hearing about how the recipient “ooohed and aaaaahed” over the gift. I love to hear about the tears of gratitude and joy and the tight neck hugs from a much loved present. I really love to hear when they need more for some more people! Hey, I am in business, right? But more than anything, I love the sigh that comes when the burden of the hunt for the perfect gift has been lifted.  Yes, sales can be a ministry if your focus is on serving and not fleecing.

So I’m going back to doing what I do best. No more sidetracking and trying to be a little bit of everything for a little bit of everyone. It’s time to stay true to what I’m passionate about. No apologies, only peace.

Thanks for listening & I hope all the peace & success for you in your business!

Tonya

And if you’re a woman who loves glam everyday,

check out my selection of statement necklaces & other accessories at

www.thejewelryladystore.com.

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One thought on “Business Tip: How To Know When It’s Time To Change Niches

  1. Reblogged this on The Jewelry Lady and commented:
    In case you’ve been wondering about all of the changes going on (new site, new format, sterling silver suddenly on clearance, different style posts & pics) this is why! I am taking huge strides to serve my customers the best way I can. Let me know what you think. Enjoy!

    Like

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