Trouble cracking into my niche/target market. Ideas?

EMTMomof3EMTMomof3 subscriber Posts: 2
edited October 2007 in Marketing
Hi all,
I was referred here by a friend and spent most of last night reading these boards.  I wasn`t 100% sure where to post this question. I posted on another forum, but will move it over here.
I have a very niche market, which I have begun to tap into.  I have my target market narrowed down...actually it`s kind of a borad base, but I`m marketing kids and parents of horse loving girls.  I`ve had mediocre success.  I have ads all over the place, have written content, use Ebay with some success, etc.  I will be passing my one year anniversary of being in business soon, and I had really thought I`d be a little farther ahead in terms of sales by now.
I`ve been only marketing online.  Ebay has really been my bread and butter with my sales, but even there I feel like I am hitting a brick wall. I have many repeat customers, and in Sept I made more money in that month that I have ever on Ebay.  My sales have drastically dropped from site and Ebay since then.
Do you think a trade show is the way to go for a niche market?  I thought my ads in horse related areas would help, but nothing. I have contacted tack and horse related, and gift shops both in person and online with no contracts yet.  My major goal was to be carried in 2 B&M stores by 2008 and I haven`t acheived that yet. I`m all lined up to have a couple people start sewing for me, but with out much growth in recent months here, I can`t do it yet.
Any ideas for getting into that niche market a little better?  I was going to hold off on tradeshows, but I`m wondering if I need to consider it sooner?
Thanks for any thoughts. 
Lisa
www.horse-itz.com

Comments

  • sddreamweaverssddreamweavers subscriber Posts: 5 Member
    Tradeshows is great for networking but you also have to think of who else would benefit from your products?  Are there any other areas/categories that your products could fit into?::edit::It looks like the database for your site bit the dust.
    sddreamweavers2007-10-24 18:8:46
  • EMTMomof3EMTMomof3 subscriber Posts: 2
    thanks for the replies.
    What doyou mean my database bit the dust?  that doesn`t sound good
     
  • sddreamweaverssddreamweavers subscriber Posts: 5 Member
    thanks for the replies.
    What doyou mean my database bit the dust?  that doesn`t sound good
     Your site was down when I went to check it out.
  • EMTMomof3EMTMomof3 subscriber Posts: 2
    LOL, gotcha!  I thought something really bad had happened.  Seems the server has been down alot lately.  Of course, that is never good either.
    Thanks again for all the tips.  I agree that I should expand my market.  I was thinking about how to do that while still keeping my eye on my niche too.
    Tradeshows and crafts shows will have to be in my near future I think, as well.
    Thanks again
    Lisa
    www.horse-itz.com
  • sddreamweaverssddreamweavers subscriber Posts: 5 Member
    LOL, gotcha!  I thought something really bad had happened.  Seems the server has been down alot lately.  Of course, that is never good either.
    Thanks again for all the tips.  I agree that I should expand my market.  I was thinking about how to do that while still keeping my eye on my niche too.
    Tradeshows and crafts shows will have to be in my near future I think, as well.
    Thanks again
    Lisa
    www.horse-itz.comIf you`re having server problems I would strongly suggest looking into a better hosting company.  The last thing you need, after you do all your marketing work is to have a site that isn`t functioning.  A downed site = loss of customers.
  • DaleKingDaleKing subscriber Posts: 141
    Lisa, I also looked at your site and I personally think you`ve made a serious mistake with your domain name. Your site has absolutely nothing to do with horses, yet your domain name implies that it does. Your site sells apparel with a horse related theme.
    You`re also focusing on the wrong target market in my opinion. You shouldn`t be targeting horse lovers, you should be targeting consumers shopping for apparel. You should also target the gift market as well.
    Dale KingDKing2007-10-25 9:39:49
  • EMTMomof3EMTMomof3 subscriber Posts: 2
    Thanks everyone for taking the time to critique what I`ve done so far.  This is exactly what I`m looking for. 
    When I started this, I didn`t have any intention of doing shirts at all.  I started with the horse charms, hence the name Horse*itZ.  People do seem to remember the name which is a little consolation.  Anyway, the T-shirts sort of evolved into this, and I have had several requests for other farm animals, and boys shirts.  So the potential for that kind of growth is possible.  I do currently sell to 2 online boutiques and have made contact with several others. That seems to be working, so I think you guys are dead on with the high end boutique idea.
    I have thought alot about changing my site name and giving it a little revamp.  I`m not sure how to go through changing the name though, while keeping it linked up the same.  Making sense?  LOL
    Nikole and Dale thanks for the fresh insight.  Looks like I have some thinking to do about where to go from here.  It wasn`t until recently that I really thought about going the boutique route, and that was only after some stores contacted me.  Seems like a lightbulb should have went on, huh?  LOL
    Lisa 
  • EMTMomof3EMTMomof3 subscriber Posts: 2
    Thanks so much.
    I have the name The KissDa Co in my back pocket and perhaps will do something with that.  Can I convert my current site to a new domain name, or do I have to start all over?  The budget for a new website design is NILL if I have to totally redesign one.  LOL
  • EMTMomof3EMTMomof3 subscriber Posts: 2
      I can see you`re great at what you do!  Thanks for the advice. 
    Lisa
  • VolusionVolusion subscriber Posts: 0
    Agreed with NHG.  Target stores directly.  Don`t restrict yourself to a geographic area.  You can set up your website to sell both retail and wholesale to make your scope bigger.  It is great to have a niche product, but you have to make sure to go after a big enough market to cover your expenses.Our software allows you to sell both b-2-c and b-2-b, if you cannot do that on your site already.Regards,Michelle GreerMarketing Specialisthttp://www.volusion.com
    Volusion2007-10-25 15:4:42
  • sddreamweaverssddreamweavers subscriber Posts: 5 Member
    One other thing you might want to look at is bringing on Manufacturers Reps.  They can go out to stores in specific areas and sell your product to stores.
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