Finding Your Niche Market | To Generalize or Specialize Within The Construction Equipment Industry
For the construction equipment industry, now is the ideal time to assess – or re-assess – your position within the marketplace. It’s winter-quiet, but that will change soon. Should your dealership specialize in some niche market equipment range? Or should you generalize, to capture a broader range of business?
Your contractor customers are likely asking themselves the same question. The following considerations will help you refine your dealership marketing strategy, and you can share them with prospects and customers to help them make smart business decisions, too.
There’s a bottom-line benefit here: if most of your target audience is specializing, you should probably follow their lead. However, if each of their niche markets vary distinctly, you’ll be the best potential partner for them by offering “generalized” equipment lines and service.
Benefits of specialization
Small construction firms can make the best use of financial and labor resources by deliberately serving a single niche market. But even small contractors can specialize in more than one category without trying to serve every possible client. For smaller firms, adding related niche markets to existing services can be an excellent way to expand without losing control.
For instance, a contractor may have developed superior expertise with a “niche” building technique. That could give them a marketing edge to promote their services as a specialty builder.
Some contractors specialize based on a particular building phase.
- To focus on pre-construction, you must be knowledgeable about niche market design elements, lead times and project scheduling and local permitting and inspection requirements.
- For the actual construction phase, you have to be expert at integrating pre-fab and substructures. You have to be a talented choreographer, to procure and coordinate the most efficient progression of multiple trades and vendors. Your own experience adds value, as you use what you’ve learned to identify potential problems and solutions in advance.
- Focusing on the post-construction phase requires in-depth understanding of real-life construction timelines and closeout procedures, along with the ability to deftly coordinate non-construction vendors.
The key to specialization success is knowing what your customers and prospects need most. That’s where you should specialize. In a fluctuating marketplace, this may require the ability to adapt and scale your own offerings to stay most relevant with customers.
Benefits of generalization
Large and mid-size construction firms have more resources, so it’s often easier for them to work in several categories. Being a generalist can be the best plan, if you know yourself and your target marketing well. Ask yourself:
- What are we already known for? How is our brand perceived by potential customers?
- If you’re considering expansion into a new niche, what is the single-greatest value your firm or dealership offers that market?
- Do you have the resources needed to generalize (or strategic partners to fill in the gaps)?
The more products or services a construction firm or dealership offers, the more “mini-business plans” will be needed. It’s crucial to track business performance by category to know if you’re truly profitable. If a category isn’t performing, you’ll need to adjust your marketing strategy.
Generalists also need to market to more audiences. Can your sales team comfortably do that while following the latest trends within the construction equipment industry?
As a dealer in the construction equipment industry, your goal is to serve the audience you’ve chosen. That requires understanding their business goals and challenges. Even seasoned customers look to you for advice and insight. Thinking about these points will help them make a deliberate decision about how they want to grow their business – choosing to generalize or specialize. And that will help define the future direction for your dealership, too.