• http://www.resellerguide.com bwb

    Great article, just wrote a short summary about how this applies to the hosting industry, great stuff! Niche marketing is huge in hosting but nobody is really using it to its fullest, they all just try to sell general cheap web hosting and copy the big players.

    http://www.resellerguide.com/articles/hosting-marketing/small-but-responsive/211

    thanks, Ben

  • http://www.ebizmba.com eBizMBA

    Great advice, soon so called ‘niche’ markets will explode because of the wider distribution provided by the web, and in order to take advantage of it you have to build one customer at a time.

  • http://www.solaswebdesign.net Miriam

    Such a good article, Bill, and a timely one for me. I’d like to provide a real-world example of exactly what you’re talking about here in one of your above points.

    Response time.

    Apart from running our web design/seo firm, my husband and I launched a fun little side business in April selling a homemade product as a digital download. Response has been stunningly good so far.

    However, one of the payment methods we offer is e-check as this came with the Payloadz program via which we’re running the site. Since the launch, a handful of customers have paid with e-check and have invariably written saying “I paid for my download but nothing arrived yet”.

    I immediately responded to them that e-checks take 4 days to clear and that the download couldn’t be sent out until the check cleared. I only learned this through having it happen, but the customer wasn’t being warned of this in advance, resulting in dissappointment for them.

    So, being a small business owner, I was able to take 3 minutes to write a very clear caution in a visible place on the site saying that if the customer chooses to pay via e-check, there will be this delay.

    This improves the usability of my site in that the customer can reconsider how they’d like to pay if they need the download right away. It’s also an improvement for me as I will hopefully spend less time having to answer emails of this kind.

    If I weren’t a small business owner, I’d have had to have cleared this decision to make a change to my site with my ‘boss’, my ‘manager’ or whoever else is the decision maker. Being small means I make the decisions and I can make ‘em snappy!

    Thanks for this post, Bill.
    Miriam

  • http://www.seobythesea.com Bill Slawski

    Thanks.

    Nice example, Miriam. No committee meetings, no detailed reports; just a quick response that makes it more likely that people will have a better experience with your site.

    As an inhouse SEO/Designer for a couple of small businesses in the past, I was forwarded a lot of emails (at my request) with notes attached pointing out the ways that people referred to things, or questions that they asked, and those resulted in many positive (and quick) changes to the sites involved.