In this economy, it’s especially hard to say no to an interested consumer. But sometimes that little, two-letter word is a must if the potential relationship isn’t the right fit for your company. Identifying your market niche and sticking with it is important to running a successful business.

Some service firms don’t have the resources to invest in the ever-evolving technical training needed for complicated pool issues. However, these companies are able to offer a lower cost because they don’t have such expenditures. Thus, those firms will enjoy steady business from clients whose main concern in a service tech is a low price. Firms like this do well to focus on regular maintenance without going into more technologically complex, high-end installations.

We’re all familiar with the many questions consumers ask when searching for the right service company. In order to better pinpoint your market, make sure you’re asking customers a healthy amount of questions as well. This is especially valuable for those seeking out the high-end jobs. Find out how the pool is used, how often, what kind of parts is has, etc. That way, it’s fairly easy to determine if the interested party is focused solely on the price or if they accept the costs associated with providing more specialized service. If volume is the name of your game, you can save time and money by cutting out the effort it takes other firms to explain why they may charge more than the first pool company listed in the Yellow Pages. It may not seem like a big change, but it can affect the pace of your business considerably.

It’s also important to consider your market when choosing a place to promote your business. My firm invested in a comprehensive Website to target the more Internet-savvy clientele that has emerged in recent years. We also do direct mailings to our existing customers and grow our business based on referrals. It makes sense that one high-end client would know like-minded people in their area. Conversely, if you focus your advertising to outlets like the Penny Saver, you’ll generate a high volume of calls from pool owners who are more price-conscious.

Once you’ve targeted your market, make sure your resources are being used efficiently. For example, a firm that is able to set aside money for advanced training will find it best to determine which tech gets which job by pay grade.

While it’s important in this diverse industry to have a wide range of skills, you can’t be all things to all people. If your business goals are fragmented, your service will reflect that.