To niche or not to niche that is the question.
This is a tough one for me.
When I originally started my business The Administration Agency, I was sooo frightened and scared that people would not want my services that I took on every and any client that needed anything. Whether it was in my wheelhouse of skills or not.
So, this is a challenging topic for me because although I know you can’t be everything to everyone, I do find myself taking on projects still that I have no idea how to do BUT I believe in my high-level resource and coordination skills, so I find someone who can.
My business has been built on being a resource hub for professionals who need stuff done. I have not turned away many projects or many requests, because my business model is founded on resourcing and finding people who can bring their skill sets to the table. I have found that by doing this I have been able to:
- Grow my business
- Grow my team (subcontractors)
- Grow my offering
It has served and continues to work well for me.
But let us talk about the risks involved with this.
When I started, and even to this day if I am completely honest, people don’t really get what I “do”.
So, this is a big risk. We have spoken about “Who You Are” on our YOU series this month and one of the key topics I mention is consistent messaging.
Starting as Performance PA in 2019, it was difficult to market all the different services I was offering and I think I counted at one stage, my website had like 29 pages. Yep! That many. It was completely functional and appropriated professionally. My fear was that if I did not put everything on my website that I did, how would people know?
Not only did I have a list of services that was complicated and was endless, I also added my husbands offerings into it as well! My husband is an amazing audio/content producer who specialises in podcasts, videos, content creation and voice overs.
I know right! Believe me I too am shaking my head …
Forward to October 2020, when I knew something needed to change. I knew the message was confusing and I had people calling me saying “I don’t know what you do but can you do this?”
Which in all honesty, I like and still like to this day.
I love the fact that in the VA world, nothing is off limits. Our days are so different, and our projects/tasks are unique to the next. There is nothing boring about our day and there is so much diversity.
So, we decided to rebrand. I then became The Administration Agency, which is a much more succinct and stronger name. My husband took back his side of the business and is now running that on his own (Mathieson Media if you need anything audio/visual!) and it works sooo much better!
We can communicate more targeted messages and provide insight as to what our business actually offers.
I am happy to report that I now only have 4 pages on my website with an automation that helps my prospective clients know what we do!
I know that there are so many conflicting stories out there that say you must niche your services, and I totally get it. I hear what they are saying, and I understand it.
For me, I want to be able to offer more and my business model relies on my diversity.
I am not saying this is for everyone though and I know that if we had 10 people in a room, I would potentially be outvoted.
But like anything on this journey, you need to stay in your own lane and do what feels right for you. Hey, I could end up regretting it and may move to the niche side of the fence – totally possible, what I am trying to say if you feel pressure by niching your services and it puts you into a whole world of confusion, then maybe it is not the time to niche?
I also believe that the reason I have not niched my services and have adapted the model I have is because I have had such a wide variety of roles and have an incredibly unique skill set (yes … kind of like Liam Neeson) from beauty therapy to executive assistant, marketing to data, governance to finance. And I am extremely grateful because it has allowed me to transfer my skills and serve so many different people. I have never had just “one” specialised area but multiple and while it could be true that you cannot have that many areas of expertise, what I love is that I have knowledge about a lot of different areas and some expertise … not all … some. And this has served me well.
What do I do when I know I cannot complete what a client has asked me to?
Search for that perfect subcontractor that is highly skilled in this area and ask if they have capacity and would like to become a member of The Administration Agency family.
I am happy to say that I have about six subcontractors that I call on regularly that help me with projects that I can do, or I can’t. This is the beauty about our industry! We are so highly connected with others in our fields or that we know, that we can build and work together to grow each other’s businesses!
My role at The Administration Agency is essentially a project manager at times and I have my subs that perform the work for me and I LOVE IT! It gives so much diversity, so much freedom and so much more capacity than I could ever offer!
Is it expensive – YES!
Do I make a lot of money – NO! I often pay out more than I receive BUT I know that this is worth it and it provides a bigger return on investment in other ways.
Now, that probably sounds a little stupid about not making money so let me reassure you. My business has successfully made over $10K ever month since May 2019. I support my family and am able to support other families through my model. I may not make a lot of money out of it or have a lot left over, but I am consistently growing and achieving more.
So if you are worried that you don’t have a niche, I hope that this encourages you because I don’t either.
Take it from a non-nicher … Run your own race. Believe in your own model. Sure get advice and weigh it up, but nicher or non nicher – it is YOUR business and you have the freedom to decide.
Believe in yourself and back yourself. The beauty of this industry is that we can adapt and change as often and as frequently as we like! There are no set rules or regulations.
Learning how to run your own business comfortably with the business model you have chosen is the real magic and be proud of what you are doing. Not many can do what we do.