January 15, 2017
Spice Up Your Niche Like Los Pollos Hermanos
Let’s take a deep dive into effectively targeting your audience and the steps it takes to proficiently target paying customers eager to purchase your product or service.
The first step in the process? Finding your niche. Identifying the space you want to live and work in.
To assist us with the lesson today, Mr. Gustavo Fring of the Los Pollos Hermanos restaurant empire will provide illustrations and cook up examples of success we can emulate. If you are a fan of Breaking Bad, you already know Mr. Fring and his business juggernaut. If you are not a fan of Breaking Bad, I promise there is still plenty to learn. Shall we begin?
FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU’RE THE BEST AT
Don’t bother comparing you to others at this point – that comes later – right now figure out what you are the best at. Make a list of talents you have, or a list of offerings your business currently has. Rank the list from what you are most effective at, at least effective. The top thing on the list should be your premium offering – your first product or service to market with some muscle behind it.
For Gus Fring? It was chicken. He grew up in a family where the fried chicken was served spicy, or it wasn’t served at all. As Gus was looking to start a business he knew it needed to be incredibly profitable and scalable across the nation. He found a niche he was knowledgeable in and good at – spicy chicken – and got to work.
Soo, does this mean you only get to do this one thing for the rest of forever? No way! Gus not only sells the best chicken in the Southwest – he’s got a great thing going on with his curly fries too. And I hear the Blue Magic Slushee is to die for. But he perfected the chicken first, worked hard to establish his customer base of spicy fried chicken lovers, and then introduced another premium product. The chicken is his baby, his bread and butter if you will. If the peripheral curly fries are a bust, he’s always got the chicken – his mainstay #1 offering – to rely on.
HOW DOES YOUR TALENT SOLVE A PROBLEM
You may not consider a lack of spicy fried chicken availability in a fast food setting a “problem,” but Gus Fring sure did. He wanted to take it a step further too and not only spice up the recipe, he decided that using only the purest, best ingredients, and owning every single step of the process was the way to be the best and solve the problem of providing a distinct quality product on a mass scale. So he started with the actual chicken farm, bought the best land, built the best coops, and hired the best farmers. Then he perfected his recipe with the best cooks, and finally bought his first brick and mortar restaurant, where he pledged to offer a second-to-none customer experience.
Gus knew that by ensuring the best at every step in the process he would have a big seller on his hands, so he also built his restaurant system with the foresight of major expansion and scalability in mind. Was Gus’ talent actually that he just had a great recipe for some spicy fried chicken? No. It was his business acumen, and ability to identify the best product available, perfect it, and sell it on a mass scale. He chose chicken because he could be disruptive by selling a product of such high quality no one else could touch it.
COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE – ARE THERE OTHERS IN THIS SPACE?
KFC, Popeyes, and many others existed in the fried chicken fast food space, but Gus didn’t care. Gus determined there were enough chicken lovers out there to go around, and not nearly enough quality spicy chicken recipes to choose from.
Likewise, when you do your competitive intelligence and see who exists in the marketplace offering the product or service that you offer – do not be discouraged when you find stiff competition. That’s actually a good thing because it means there’s a demand for your product. Gus reeled them in with a distinct recipe and quality promise, and you can find your piece of the pie with a defined value proposition too – this is a combination of your talent and how your talent solves a problem.
Remember, you can’t please everyone. That’s why there are competitors – to ensure the folks you can’t sell to have something to buy. So focus on #1 – that’s you – and sell what you know. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, none of them can do it like you.
CAN YOU MAKE MONEY
If you have a quality offering, that solves a problem, and you have determined an audience exists for this quality, problem-solving offering, then yes you can make money. It may take time, or it may take a significant up-front investment on your part. But yes, if you work hard, do a good job of marketing, and don’t quit you will make money.
Look at the upfront investment Gus made into his operation. He built a gosh-darn chicken farm from the ground up – all in the name of providing a quality product! He paid untold sums to the best farmers, cooks, and workers to ensure he was building the best chicken restaurant that ever existed. This is also a great lesson in strategically planning a business launch, and the main reason he planned so meticulously was to maximize his money-making power.
Once you have determined you can be profitable with your product or service, lay a solid foundation according to a well-thought-out plan, and launch with the confidence that you will profit if you don’t quit.
TIME TO TEST THE RECIPE
If you are an entrepreneur or business owner, no doubt you have heard these two words over and over: JUST START. And today you’re going to hear them again. Once you have worked through finding your niche, realistically the only thing left that you can do to determine if you will be successful or not is start selling. Don’t be distracted by this detail or that training – get out there, sell your brains out, fall down, get up, adjust, start again, and repeat as necessary until you are successful.
Gus didn’t find success overnight at Los Pollos, he took customer feedback seriously and continued tweaking and perfecting his recipe, changing cooks as necessary until he landed on the one with the recipe-making power to make his business explode.
Just start, listen to customer feedback, be open to adjustment, and keep pushing forward.
Gus and I both wish you the very best of luck. You’ve been learnt!