One Focus at a Time

Specializing in one service could be the way to see your company grow its customer base easily.

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What is your niche? Yeah, that can be a tricky question to answer. And, do you really need a niche?

The answer should be yes, even if you offer many other services. The Merriam-Webster dictionary offers six definitions of the word “niche,” but the one we care about is this one: “a specialized market.”

In two of our features this month, our writers talk about plumbing contractors finding their specialty. Joan Koehne offers tips on how to do that in this month’s Getting Down to Business column, and Anthony Pacilla talks about it in the Industry Insider column. Why is it so important though?

Here is an easy way to put it: Your business can’t do everything and compete with everyone. Finding a niche is so crucial to a small business’ success because it is far easier to describe to potential customers what you do and sell.

Imagine if a customer comes to you and asks what kind of plumbing you do. You answer with 12 different plumbing services from new construction installation to drain cleaning, and everything in between.

You’ve just overwhelmed them. Overwhelming customers can have a negative effect. You could be coming off as being OK in those jobs, but not great. Or they might think with all those offerings that you are charging more than someone who specializes in just one, even if that isn’t the case.

When you are niche, you are focused on being the best at what you do and whom you do it for. Everything else doesn’t matter. This means you don’t chase trends or worry about the competition. You hone your skills and do what you know best.

Dirk Feikema, owner of Feikema Plumbing & Sanitation in Indiana, has his niche: drain cleaning. Yes, he also does typical plumbing work and even septic pumping, but the heart of his business falls with drain cleaning.

“I grew up doing it, so I never considered not doing it,” Feikema says. “At the end of the day, drain cleaning is a serious part of my business.”


A big part of drain clean services that Feikema does is pipe repair with pipe bursting services.

You’ll find pipe repair and rehabilitation as the main focus in the Product Focus feature this month. There is equipment in that feature that will allow you to help your customers even more. Take a look at what is out there and see if any of it could help your business grow.


Do you focus on one area more than the other? How important is it for you to highlight that in your area? I’d love to hear from some of our readers on this topic. You can email me at or call at 715-350-8436.

Enjoy this issue!


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