In a world seemingly overrun by big-box stores, ‘Main Street' is making a comeback, in a new way.
If you haven't noticed, consumers have never had more options at their fingertips. Today's world is all about personalization and customization.
The days of “one-size-fits-all” are long gone.
People don't just want to listen to music; they want their music streaming service to know what they want, and deliver it automatically.
The term ‘niche micro business' can be thought of as “a business that caters to a specialized market, one generally neglected or forgotten by larger companies.” That's exactly what the ‘Main Streets' of old were full of, before the days of large grocery stores and the Walmarts and Targets that would follow.
The difference now is that technology is allowing small, niche businesses to compete with gigantic companies, and entrepreneurs are leading the way.
Below are three examples of niche brick and mortar micro-businesses that you'd never think were actually successful businesses. But they are!
And if you're considering an online business, the same concepts apply, except you can reach even more people.
Examples of niche micro companies
Micro-companies may be innovative twists on old ideas, completely new innovations or throwbacks to lost ways of doing things. There is a wide variety of angles for this business model, and it can mold to any area or section of the economy. Some common micro business are: boutique fashion shops, food trucks and craft beer companies.
Here are three outstanding examples:
CW Pencil Shop — New York, NY.
Yes, apparently people still write by hand with actual pencils! This unique store was founded in 2014 and offers both new and antique pencils for sale. This is an excellent example of a business catering to a very specific need. There’s even a Pencil of the Month club.
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Alchemy Goods — Seattle, Wash.
Sustainable goods are a hot niche market catering to consumers concerned about environmental issues. Alchemy Goods double-dips into the niche, specializing in bags and accessories, but also targets sustainable manufacturing practices. The items once found at a leather goods shop are now available with a modern twist, and the model has worked for Alchemy Goods for more than a decade.
Drybar — Brentwood, Calif.
Proving that niche businesses can compete in crowded marketplace, Drybar takes on the salon industry by offering women precisely what they want: simplicity and service. Offering only blow-outs (blow-dries for hair that last up to a week) and no cuts or color, Drybar has seen exponential growth in just six years, thanks to its niche. From its start at just one location in California, this micro-business has mushroomed to nearly 60 locations across the country, with more on the way.
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The Benefits for Entrepreneurs
For an entrepreneur, this model is in many ways the perfect way to get up and running, as it fits so many of the basic tenets of successful startups:
1. Easier to operate.
These entrepreneurs are able to set targeted goals and business plans that have an air of simplicity and straightforwardness.
Pinpointing a precise service or product allows the entrepreneur the chance to develop an in-depth knowledge in a particular area.
It’s much easier to target a very specific customer base than it is to try it hit a wide audience. Modern marketing techniques allow advertisements and connections to be made with targeted communities, lowering marketing costs and allowing higher returns on those marketing dollars.
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4. Less competition.
Though larger companies may offer some of the same services or products, they definitely won’t do it as well as a micro-business simply because they can’t be experts in everything.