Five years ago, my company discontinued its supply of incandescent light bulbs. It was clear that the emerging light technologies (CFLs and eventually, LEDs) lasted longer than incandescent light bulbs and had countless benefits that made them superior in every way. The decision to focus the company's attention on selling first CFLs -- and then integrating LEDs -- kept us in line with what we have been doing for the past 40 years: providing our customers with the best lighting solutions.
As the owner of a company that specializes in selling light bulbs and light fixtures, I'd like to share what I know about finding success in a niche market. I've learned that success in business is often achieved by taking risks. Embrace change if it is in line with the vision and purpose of your company.
If you want your business to succeed, then you need to establish trusting relationships with your customers. The better you know who they are, what they want and what they need (and even what they need but don't know they need), the more likely you are to satisfy them and keep them coming back to you for business.
Don't forget to consider the needs of potential customers as well. Make it clear to consumers that their interests are your company's No. 1 priority. Continuously listen to their suggestions and feedback, and act on them. Make it easy for customers to get in touch with you with any questions or comments they have concerning your company's products and services.
At the end of the day, make it known that you hear them: We always make a point of calling our customers after sending out orders. We want to know if our products measure up to what they expected, and we always ask what we can do to improve our service in the future.
I tell business owners to expand product lines whenever possible.