In the realm of business and transition planning, carving a niche isn’t merely a marketing strategy; it’s an avenue to becoming indispensable.
At our recent BEI National Conference, BEI Members, David Jean, CPA, CCIFP, CExP, of Albin Randall & Bennett and Matthew DiFrancesco, CExP, CAA, of High Lift Financial, hosted a session that shed light on the power and process of engaging in a niche market for advisors, especially those aiding small business owners in transitioning their ventures smoothly to the next generation.
Throughout this blog, we’ll highlight key aspects of niche marketing and insights aimed to equip advisors with a renewed perspective on engaging clients in niche sectors.
Transitioning into a Niche: A Natural Progression
A recurring theme among small business owners is the concern about the legacy of their business, particularly when it involves family. Many owners ask themselves, “What will happen to my company when I’m no longer here?” In niche markets, owners typically want to transition their businesses to their children.
Across the country, passionate, independent owners are looking for ways to grow their businesses and eventually pass it on. As owners realize the options within business transitions, advisors have the opportunity to establish themselves as the knowledgeable source in succession planning.
So, what can you do as a business advisor to establish yourself in a niche industry?
Longtime BEI Member David highlighted his experience working with contractors and his seamless transition into Exit Planning for this specific sector. His firm’s established reputation in accounting and taxation in their area presented a solid groundwork for marketing succession planning services to contractors.
As you begin to research niche industries in your area, are there opportunities to leverage your existing reputation and clientele as you venture into expanding your services by adding Exit Planning? Are there common trends with your clientele that you can lean into and use in your marketing message to usher these businesses into the next generation?
Find Your Passion
David and Matt both emphasized the importance of being passionate about the chosen industry. What is it that drives you? What types of clients do you want to be working with? They cited examples from the collision industry, where independent owners are deeply invested in their businesses and are scouting for growth and transition strategies amidst a surge in industry consolidation. Such real-world scenarios are fertile grounds for advisors to plant their expertise, grow relationships, and reap the rewards of being a go-to advisor in that domain.
The journey from general financial planning to becoming an authority in Exit Planning for a particular industry is not devoid of challenges. It entails starting with a small client base, dedicating time to understanding the industry intricacies, and progressively building a voice within that sector.
David Jean was spurred into becoming a Certified Exit Planner (CExP) after encountering a client with a severe health condition. The family’s unpreparedness in managing the business post-crisis illuminated the necessity of Exit Planning, consequently reshaping David’s practice to better serve his clientele.
The Benefits of Niche Marketing
As you become the expert advisor in your industry, you’re better able to understand the intricacies and special considerations involved. Furthermore, diving into a niche market allows you to:
- Do what you’re comfortable with by combining your passion with your skillset
- Develop customized cross-selling solutions across your industry
- Identify risk and key issues early on in the planning process
Furthermore, with a niche, you have the opportunity to expand your message by getting onto industry specific podcasts to network and foster relationships with industry influencers. You can also look at trade publications and associations to provide written content and bring awareness to the importance of transition planning and how your expertise is invaluable to those business owners.
Building Credibility in a Niche Industry
Transitioning into a niche might feel like a dive into the deep end, but remember, ‘people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care’. Building a competent team, engaging with the industry stakeholders to understand their pain points, and offering services geared towards the goals and challenges of a specific industry can help in establishing yourself in the market.
The roadmap to becoming an expert Exit Planner in a niche industry, as portrayed in the session, hinges on a blend of passion, leveraging an existing reputation, understanding the industry deeply, and employing strategic networking and knowledge-sharing platforms like podcasts and articles.
The Bottom Line
Delving into a niche isn’t just about a narrowing focus; it’s about amplifying your impact and value in a way that resonates profoundly with clients in need of expert guidance on possibly one of the most critical transitions in their business lifecycle.
The BEI Advisor Network is an excellent resource for professionals like you, connecting advisors with the right industry or expertise, enabling a collaborative approach towards offering more value to clients. Schedule time with the BEI Team to learn more about becoming a member of our network.