In a recent #QBOchat, we discussed the rise of niche apps and their potential for the untapped broad spectrum of markets they can serve. Given the creativity and ingenuity of businesses these days, it’s no surprise there is great diversity in specialty niches and the apps that help support them. Keeping your eyes and ears open and staying up-to-date on the latest advancements in resources helps you stay competitive and allows you to simplify tasks and broaden your reach and better serve your clients and customers.
How do you define “niche”? While there may be some disagreement on how to pronounce the word “niche,” there is unanimous agreement that a niche is an area of specialization for businesses and individuals. Your niche is the part of the job that depends on your specific expertise or where you are most knowledgeable, or as defined by Dictionary.com, “one distinct segment of the market.” When it comes to niche app, Balance Sheets CA points out, not all businesses are created equally in terms of their niche app needs.
Do you know how to find your niche or help others identify theirs? According to a recent post by Business Daily News, there are five tips that help businesses identify their niche. The first two are looking at easily identifiable and accessible customers – can you quickly and easily pick them out and reach them? Third is finding an underserved market – no one else is meeting their needs, but could you? The fourth is being aware of large potential markets – yeah there are options out there, but is the market big enough and profitable enough to warrant the niche? And lastly, what is the growth potential? Even if the target is small now, what are the chances it will grow (and your profits along with it)?
What is the strangest niche business you have seen or heard of? There seems to be no limit to the types of niches out there. Expensify shared that San Francisco has cat cafes that allow non-cat owners to experience some of the perks of being a cat owner while enjoying a snack. An equally odd one, pointed out by Kelsie Medel, is another café niche, but with cows! David Leary makes the point that niche businesses can be less broad and cited Whole Foods as an example. #QBOchat participants unanimously agreed that the Seattle, Washington based business offering ice-cream flavored pedicures is pretty strange. Even the seemingly strangest of markets appear to be covered, so what about those that seem a little more practical?
What niches needs apps that do not exist yet? Hotel gyms often seem to leave much to be desired, and Madeline Reeves recognizes the need for an app that serves to help find the best gyms for traveling fitness enthusiasts for when they’re planning accommodations away from home. Our QBOchatters spend a decent amount of time traveling, so this was something a lot of us would love to see! Gyms could implement an app like this to drive extra business and provide users additional features, such as workout regimens. So what about apps that helps you work out your back office business needs?
What is your favorite niche app that currently connects to Quickbooks Online? While Expensify doesn’t necessarily consider their company to be a niche, they do offer some “niche-esque” functionality when it comes to expenses In Accounts Receivable and invoice management, Funding Gates recommends The FG Receivables Manager. Other favorites are Vendhq, ignitionapp, and ChargeOver. Of course, any app connecting to QBO certainly makes the product stronger and expands its reach, as observed by Chris Repetto.
How do you think accountants can better support niche businesses and apps? Expensify advocates educating clients in the latest technology so they can automate many tasks. As a niche accountant, you don’t need to be an expert on any one business; knowing small business in general goes a long way. But becoming familiar with the product can certainly aid in providing clients with valuable, customized advice.
Clients should do their part by staying current on everything available. Participating in webinars is a great way to stay attuned with the most current tools available. ChargeOver reminds us to go straight to the source! If there is more an app can do to benefit you, don’t hesitate to get that feedback directly to the developers, because they will often be receptive to making beneficial adjustments. Chances are you’re not alone in desiring certain tweaks and customizations to your favorite apps.
Our key takeaways:
- Understand niches for business,
- Stay current with developments in niche markets and apps that accommodate them, and
- Don’t be afraid to share your feedback with app developers.
Apps can be a powerful asset that enables businesses to work more efficiently, so identify your niche and find the right apps to accommodate your needs.
Stay in the know about everything regarding QuickBooks Online by joining us for our weekly informative and lively #QBOChat each Thursday at 3:00pm EST. We welcome all types of QuickBooks users, from small business users to accountants, developers and others. Check out our website archives for previous #QBOchat logs and sign up for weekly chat reminders. See you this Thursday!