The Practice Building Team Blog
Consider an accounting firm that is considered a generalist practice. They focus on business accounting, taxes and audits. Within this firm is a partner who does about $750,000 each year. This partner has 5 clients in the health care industry. This partner has carefully monitored all of the recent legislation related to healthcare, including Obama’s new Health Care Bill. The partner is very knowledgeable with regard to forensic accounting and Medicare laws. This partner is more knowledgeable than anyone else in the region on regulations, standards and new laws affecting the health care industry.
When you think about building a micro-niche boutique within your firm, one of the things you will do is assess the size of the market and the expected revenue from the special clients who will come to you for the expertise you offer. There are several huge bonuses to keep in mind as you do the analysis.
If your firm has been in existence for more than a couple years, you probably have a sense of which clients are most profitable for your business. Whether you have actually analyzed the details or not you know. This knowledge can become the basis of establishing client standards for your firm that will allow you to qualify new clients before you agree to take them on.
Many small firms believe they need to accept every potential client who crosses the threshold. This might not be a good idea. Remember that the 80/20 rule applies to your practice as much as to any other business. If you can isolate the characteristics of the 20% of your clients who provide 80% of your revenue, you will have the criteria for client standards.
Many of the lessons of business start-up and management that were critical when you started the firm are also critical when you build and reveal a new micro-niche to your clients. Here are ten that cannot be overlooked when building a micro-niche.
1. Your micro-niche must be built according to a good plan. Everything you do must be micro-focused on making the niche fit the need.
I was in a discount club store the other day. I was trying to find the specific bag of chicken parts on my list. I couldn’t believe the number of ways these guys have come up with to sell a chicken! You can buy a cut up frozen chicken. But you can also buy a big bag of frozen parts – breasts, legs, thighs, wings. Then you find boneless parts and tenderloin strips of parts – it’s really perfect for young kids who can’t eat a whole breast. Think about it – this is smart packaging!
Now, if you keep looking, you discover that this guy who actually has just one product – a chicken – has started pre-breading it or pre-basting it with barbecue or hot sauce. And once the chicken starts being sold by the piece, with the same pieces from other chickens, or they start preparing it for you, the price goes up – significantly.
What can you learn from McDonald’s? A great deal, apparently!
Since about 2003 McDonald’s has been looking at ways to increase market share and keep customers coming back for the next 50 years. They have been experimenting with a number of things during the past seven years including store design and menu items. You might have noticed some of the items they have been testing, like coffee (McCafe). They have also been experimenting with store design in some European locations, especially in France, where dining habits are different from the USA. You also might have noticed that you are seeing less and less of a clown Ronald McDonald.