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The hardest lesson I learnt before I decided to niche

I used to rent desk space in a co-working office. 

One afternoon, I received a couple of emails from somebody, let's call him Dave, he was looking for a bookkeeper to make sure the accounts for his business were up to date. I was based where he was based, he said it made sense to meet up. So we met in the communal kitchen area for a coffee the next day. 

Dave organised events. 

He was keen to work together because it was just so convenient. 

And he wanted some very specific management reporting information. 

I'd been to events before, I figured I could understand his business model.

I worked where he worked, what could be more convenient than that?

I also happened to be an experienced management accountant, and I was using Futrli for other clients so I'd be able to make sure he had what he needed. 

The problems with this were. 

Dave used Sage. 

I hate Sage.

After a few month, I moved offices and I'd have to trek across town to see Dave forever more because he liked to talk through his accounts in the communal kitchen area. 

Dave didn't want Futrli. 

He wanted a very specific spreadsheet that he'd set up and he wasn't prepared to settle for any time saving reports even if they'd give him better or more valuable information. 

And every time I logged into Sage for Dave, I wanted to cry. Because I didn't love the tools I was using to support him in his business, I didn't enjoy the way we worked together, and it was actually all just a bit of a nuisance.  And so, I decided it was time to niche. It was time to get clear on what I did and didn't want to do. The types of clients, the software that I did and didn't want to work with. 

And from that point forward I had clarity. Life was simpler. Sure we still got approached by clients who weren't our target sector and we had to take a call as to whether they were right for us to work with. But I was no longer desperate to take on any client to pull in the revenue. I was confident that choosing the right clients would allow us to do the job we loved in the way we loved to do it as well as meaning we could do it really really well because we were using the systems we were best at. 

Are you niching at the moment?

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