So, you want to open up your own niche business?
“You’ll never find any customers,” Your family remark.
“You’ll be a small fish in a big pond!” Your friends declare.
Armed with the stress that any soon-to-be entrepreneur faces, you start to wonder whether they’re right. Will you truly be able to compete with the household names? How will you find clients? Is it even worth branching off on your own?
Here, we detail five things to consider before launching your niche recruitment business.
Define Your USP
The most important way to stand out from the crowd in an already-saturated industry like recruitment is to define your ‘unique selling point’ (USP). What is it that makes you different? What can you offer clients that others perhaps cannot?
When figuring out your niche, it is important to be specific. Using the example of recruitment, there is a greater pull for technology companies to work with an agency that is specialised and highly versed in attracting top technical talent, as opposed to a jack-of-all-trades firm that lacks the knowledge of the intricacies of the industry.
Don’t be afraid to go for more than one USP, either. It may be worth narrowing down one particular niche further in terms of location, or choosing three or four small areas to specialise in. Here at Worksmith, for example, we pride ourselves on representing a number of small niches. Having firsthand experience in being working mothers, we work with women who wish to re-enter the workforce post maternity leave as well as other return-to-work individuals.
We also leverage the diversity in our individual backgrounds: we both have experience of working and conducting business in mainland Europe, and so extend this to firms with a cross-country presence.
Comprehensive knowledge of the engineering, IT and technology sectors is another of our USPs, with a particular in-depth understanding of working with Oracle.
Finally, we seek to represent firms and clients with a sustainable ethos that mirrors our own. We do not have to represent all of these niches simultaneously or exclusively, but they all form part of our brand identity as a small recruitment company.
Use Your Size to Your Advantage
Whilst it is true that bigger firms have a distinguished and instantly recognisable brand name to propel them forwards, there are a myriad of benefits smaller, boutique companies possess that larger corporations are unable to match.
For instance, being a small firm allows you to offer a bespoke and tailored approach to your clients. You can take the time to understand their business intimately, and adapt your services depending on the situation and client. There are fewer layers of bureaucracy when you are a sole entrepreneur or working in a small team, meaning clients can rest assured that they will be working directly with the founder(s) of the business at all times. Many business owners see this as an asset, and thus choose to work with boutique agencies in order to form a close relationship with their recruiters, rather than feeling like a small cog in a large factory.
If you are not a service business but instead produce goods, public opinion has recently shifted back in favour of supporting local businesses following the pandemic. So, rest assured that consumers are willing to shop further afield and spend their money with smaller businesses, too.
Connect With Others In Your Niche
Finally, it is undeniable that operating in a niche allows more opportunities for collaboration and cross-company engagement than in a standard firm. Use your niche to your advantage and engage with other businesses doing the same. Sustainable recruitment is an important niche we aim to operate in here at Worksmiths, and this enables us to connect with other sustainable businesses. So, use your niche as a point of commonality between you and other firms to help build new client relationships.
Ultimately, it is certainly possible to succeed as a smaller, niche business, and we hope these ideas have helped spark some ideas as to how. Leverage your size and specificity, use it to your advantage and stand out from the crowd.