There has been a lot of conversation in bookkeeping circles this year about niching, many advocating that it's the undisputed path to take. The result is that I'm having conversations with bookkeepers, both new and experienced, and they're talking like it's a given that everyone should niche. Cos, you know, everyone's saying that they should.
Well I'm not saying that you should. But you could.
There are certainly some gains to be had from niching. You leverage the business knowledge in that area, it's easy to demonstrate credibility, and it may improve efficiency and productivity by focusing only on one area of bookkeeping and bookkeeping systems. It can also make your marketing message a lot clearer making it easier to talk to your target market.
If you have a body of experience in, and/or a passion for a particular industry like hospitality, farming or the trades, then by all means, focus on that. You have the knowledge and the desire to succeed with it.
But for me, one of the things I loved about my bookkeeping journey, and I think one of the reasons that I've been able to transition into business coaching, is the huge variety of businesses that I got to work with and learn from. I loved the variety, it was so interesting!
It may also be that when you're new and starting out, you don't know a particular industry or niche and that's totally OK! Don't limit your opportunities for work and for learning right away. See what comes your way. Take every opportunity to learn and to help your clients and your bookkeeping career will benefit for it.
Do we ever hear accountants being told to niche in a particular industry? Accounting is accounting, bookkeeping is bookkeeping. As long as you have the fundamentals (and sometimes you need to make sure you upskill so that you have the fundamentals of, say, multi-currency, inventory etc.,) then your skills can be applied to any business and you can learn the industry as you go.
Additionally, if you do decide to niche it doesn't mean you that you now have to only work with that industry. And you can also have more than one niche.
You may find that, over time, you end up with more of a certain type of clients than others, and you may decided to run a marketing campaign to capitalise on that knowledge and get more of the same. Doesn't mean that you will say goodbye to all your other clients.
The conversations that I've had around this have taken the weight off those asking who felt pressured to decide on a niche when they either had no relevant experience to base niching on, or, like me, love the challenge and satisfaction that comes from working with a wide array of interesting and varied clients.
In my own business I have chosen to niche in coaching bookkeeping businesses. But I don't only coach bookkeepers, I also enjoy working with a variety of other businesses as well. I'm OK with that. It keeps life interesting and I learn a lot.