Mass-market companies like Google make profits by trying to eliminate the competition. How do niche-market companies like yours do the same? Should they? (Yes, they should).
Consider other huge organizations besides GOOG – governments, school systems, multinational NGOs, and corporations. We’ve all been part of one in some way. Whether they are designed to make a profit or not, they are all mass-market organizations – they do something for huge masses of people from whom they extract time, money, or attention. Because size helps them do so, their workforces are often in the hundreds of thousands.
Few of these behemoths manufacture goods, but many are run like industrial-age factories, as I wrote recently. They run on management science, complex hierarchy, centralization, soul-sucking office parks, and antiquated, militaresque formality.
Meanwhile, niche market organizations:
- have no need for management science
- or “re-orgs”
- don’t need hierarchy
- find less value in metrics
- benefit from threats to the status quo
- ideas theories must fit the real world – bills to pay
With the obligatory caveats, of course.
Of course, there are vast drawbacks to a niche business. We lack:
- name brand recognition
- enormous capital supply
- predictable revenue
- economies of scale
- access to large internal talent pools
But does a niche-market business also lack one of the most powerful big-company advantages?
When you monopolize you control supply and, if you want, prices, in order to eliminate competition. In the case of big tech monopolies, you also make the rules about how you communicate, mitigating the influence of the largest rule-making competitor, the US government. And other large governments.
But a niche-market business can achieve de facto monopolization by creating a solution that no one else offers, presenting it as such with clarity – and repeating the process every year or two using one of its strengths, agility.
This is rapid-cycle positioning.
The question for you never stops being, what’s something you can do that – for a little while at least – you control the supply of?