The past decade’s worldwide economic decline has forced many professionals to seriously reconsider their business models. Many businesses have gone under and many more employees have been forced to find new jobs or relocate altogether. Successful entrepreneurs must understand and utilize new technologies in order to expand their market.
For example, let’s say I am a psychotherapist in Chicago. If you’ve ever been to Chicago, you’ll know that you can hardly throw a rock on Michigan Avenue without hitting a psychotherapist. The market is flooded, and on top of that, insurance cutbacks and financial difficulties have discouraged people from seeking this type of treatment to begin with.
With a market this full, many who enter the field would become discouraged and give up their dream of operating a private practice. However, there are two things we can realize that will help us to see that this dream is still a possibility. The first is that more and more consumers are seeking all types of services on the internet. The second is that this actually expands the possibility for controlling your own destiny as a business owner.
Take my psychotherapy example. If I search on google for “psychotherapist in Chicago,” I will find a fair amount of competition. I might even have a difficult time marketing my expertise in the area of treatments for depression. But suppose one of my specialties is treatment resistant depression. How much competition do you suppose I’d find for that?
This ‘long tail effect’ is what allows entrepreneurs in any field to market the specific things that they are best at, which are usually the same things they enjoy doing most. Additionally, specialized services–especially those which require additional training and experience–often warrant a higher fee. Meaning that by focusing on the core of my offerings I have actually positioned myself to make more money than if I had attempted to be a generalist.
This niche marketing principle is counterintuitive to anyone who has not immersed themselves in the developing internet business culture. The more natural way of thinking in the real world has always been ‘the more services I offer the more money I can potentially make.’ As technology advances and we see a general specialization across fields, this is decreasingly the case. For the time being, this cultural and economic shift provides an incredible advantage to anyone who understands it and is willing to structure their business around it.