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There is a whole world out there that is in need of your services that you are not taking advantage of. There are a variety of niches and demographics that are left without pursuit. Especially in tougher economic times, this is just money being left on the table. Below are a few different areas that businesses should consider to expand their client base.

Geographic Market
There are several important factors to consider regarding various geographic markets. First, your local geography is your greatest asset. Many companies that do business on a national level do not take the time to own their own local market. The local market is the easiest to tap because of an existing knowledge of the area. It is also the most inexpensive. Most businesses should consider pursuing at least a 20% to 30% market share of their local business. The greatest advantage is the opportunity to meet face to face, extend a little greater customer service, build relationships and get strong testimonies. This will be your arsenal when pursuing national clients.

The second consideration is geography in general. There may be some great opportunities because of areas that are distant or not easily accessible that your competitors may not like to pursue. How far will you go for a client and what will they say about you for doing so? Most will appreciate anyone that goes out of the way for them.

Other considerations could be the geographic climate itself such as areas that experience unique weather (i.e. beach front property). It may be that there are opportunities that are unique to an area due to their climate. Heavy rainfall or extraordinarily dry weather may cause problems that your product or service may be able to solve. If this is the case then targeting these areas could prove to be very lucrative.

Languages and Cultures
One of the most neglected markets is the minority group. Producing multilingual marketing material or simply providing multilingual staff to work with minorities is a great way to open up those markets. Take the time to translate your website into a least one other language, preferably a language that is prominent in your country or region. For example, if your business is located in the state of California in the U.S. then Spanish is an obvious choice.

It always important to consider that what may not be of value to one culture is quite valuable to another. Discover what is needed for other cultures in your area and see if your business can fulfill that need.

Educating staff on various cultures will help them feel more comfortable and provide easier opportunities to do business with those people groups. Culture is not limited to foreign nationals but also counter cultures within your own country (i.e. punk, goth, surfer, etc.).

Niche Markets
Tapping into various niche markets can be very profitable. There are an enormous amount of niche markets that are overlooked every year. The ones that are leveraged by businesses, however, are well exploited and those companies usually make a small fortune.

NOTE: It is vitally important to remember that many niche markets come and go. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket and know when to pull out when the time is right. The best business executives can walk away from anything, without hesitation, when the time is right.

When it all comes down to it, having a healthy knowledge of your demographics is absolutely key to successfully taking hold of the greatest share of your market. Demographics tell you several things that are relevant to your business. Here is a list of important items that you should consider:
  • Age group that will use your product or service
    • Percentage of your market that makes up this age group
    • Available market share for age group
  • Gender
    • Percentage of male vs. female clients using product or service
    • Proper targeting
  • Race / Ethnicity / Religion
    • Ratio of ethnic groups
    • Percentage of ethnic groups that are relevant to your business
    • Calculate ratios to market share
  • Household Income / Wealth Index
    • Percentage of households that can afford your product or service
    • Median gaps by area
    • Affordability to profitability ratios
  • Need / Want
    • Objective look at whether your product or service is actually needed or wanted
Though there are several other factors that you may want to consider depending on your industry, the above factors are some of the most important.

Surveys are great tools to help you gather the right information to make informed decisions about leveraging your services or products with the various demographics. There are many companies that provide surveys or you can take advantage of social media and create one of your own. Doing your research before taking action on tapping into other areas of your market will save you money and headaches. If you think bigger and look deeper into the world around you, you will find a great, untapped market.