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Riches in Niches – Surviving as a Small Fish in a Big Ocean

Large Blue Fish Swimming Towards A Much Smaller Yellow Fish Getting Ready To Eat Him

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Author: Marie Christenson

For any small business, including call centers, the road to launching and growing a start-up or small to mid-sized business is not an easy road traveled. In order to successfully expand and scale one’s business in today’s competitive technology environment, organizations need to better understand their differentiating strengths as well as their products’ unique impact on the market. A 2018 report found the number one reason startups fail is because they tackle problems that are interesting to solve rather than those that serve a market need. Overall, 67 percent of companies end up either dead or become self-sustaining and less than one percent of start-up companies ever develop into a “unicorn.”

In an effort to evade these industry statistics and outcomes, take a look at the compiled list of tips and insights on how to survive and thrive as a small fish in a big innovative ocean.  

1. Stick to What You Know Best

It’s important to remember to stick to what you know best. Don’t spread your business too thin in the beginning by trying to include a wide variety of things that appeal to multiple groups of people – so much so, that your business seems scattered and disorganized. Prior to launch, identify the market and “submarket” your product belongs in. Who are the active players, who are your competitors, and what do they offer? Within that space, map out your business journey and the impact your product will have on the market. It’s imperative to be vigilant in promoting differentiating factors that distinguish your product from your competitors. The more specific your product is, the easier it will be to identify your target audience. When starting off, your resources will be limited, therefore your market should be, too.

2. Know the “Ins and Outs” of the Industry

Once you’ve identified the appropriate market and submarket for your product, work to become a thought leader and “sponge” within the field. Soak up any and all information that’s remotely associated with your business. Many entrepreneurs box themselves in by solely focusing on being an expert on their product. In order to exceed customers’ expectations, one needs to be an expert within the industry to better understand one’s position in the market – what’s there, what’s not there, and what’s coming down the pipeline. Although it’s impossible to be an expert on everything within a given field, entrepreneurs should work at understanding a little bit about the industry’s overall landscape, incorporate their niche, and become a thought leader at that intersection.  

3. Specialize, Specialize, Specialize

When bringing your product to market, verify it solves a particular problem and the problem cannot be solved by other means. Once you’ve identified your product is both unique and serves a purpose, find ways to update and enhance the product constantly. Developing a niche product (opposed to a general product) enables your company to set the industry standards for others to follow.

4. Know Your Customers

Identifying and developing your customer base on an ongoing basis is imperative to launching and growing your business. Take a deep dive into your customer base early on to analyze and pinpoint who your ideal customers are and their needs. When engaging with your customers, be proactive. For example, think beyond what they currently have and need – ask what they want or will need in the next two to three years. Building a true relationship with your customers entails understanding your product’s role in their business and future growth. Studying customers will provide your company with additional insight on how to best enhance your products and business model to better serve your customers.

5.) Provide Unparalleled Customer Service

A huge differentiator between large enterprises and small start-up companies is providing individualized customer service. Smaller companies can and should provide a more personalized element to their customer service approach. Start-ups need to continuously show they care and that they understand their customer’s needs, struggles, and pain points. Being your customers’ biggest advisor, consultant, and supporter is the ultimate goal in the start-up world. When possible, encourage, develop, and grow a team where your customers are considered part of the team.

In conclusion, the best way to succeed as a small business “fish” in a big ocean is to be the best small fish you can be and conduct the necessary preliminary research to know where your company specifically fits into the larger ecosystem. The more specific, specialized, and niche the product is, the better chance your company has at surviving and prospering in the vast ocean.

To learn more about how TCN Operator can help your call center stand out in the big ocean, request a demo today.

About the Author: Marie Christenson


Marie Christenson is the Content Writer and Strategist for TCN, a worldwide leading provider of cloud-based call center technology. As the voice behind the screen, Marie spends her days carefully curating content including company blogs, campaigns, and social media. Since earning a B.S. in Strategic Communications & Marketing from Southern Utah University in 2020, she has enjoyed sharing her ideas and creativity with TCN. In her free time, Marie loves traveling and exploring new places and cultures.