I heard a great segment on National Public Radio the other day which demonstrated in spades the value of niche marketing. It was about some folks who wanted to learn how to make a website and thought it would be funny to create a site for what they called the “Prairie Tumbleweed Farm” – a make-believe internet company. Much to their surprise, orders started to come in and they had to scramble to fill them. Now they reportedly make $40K a year selling tumbleweeds!
It sometimes feels counter-intuitive to narrow your focus but there is a lot of power in it. When you have a narrow focus, you have fewer competitors (how many tumbleweed suppliers do you know?) and it is easier for people to find you. And of course you will be seen as the expert. When we were looking to replace our skylights we had a choice of window installation companies or a company that only did skylights. We picked the skylight company because we assumed (rightly or wrongly) that they would know more about skylights than generalist window companies.
Of course you have to make sure your market is large enough but the US is a big market and those niches that may seem small at first glance are often big enough to make good money.