Paper Trails

Building a niche market

Small Business Big World Episode 16: Building a Niche Market – An interview with Derek Stevenson from the Varney Agency

This is Small Business Big World, our weekly podcast prepared by the team at Paper Trails. Owning and running a small business is hard. Each week we’ll dive into the challenges, headaches, trends, fun and excitement of running a small business. After all, small businesses are the heartbeat of America and our team is here to keep them beating.


Watch the full episode here.

Listen to the full episode here.


In the recent episode of “Small Business Big World,” we had the pleasure of hosting Derek Stevenson from Varney Agency. Throughout the episode, Derek highlighted the positive impact of niche marketing. He talks about the importance of being perceived as a trusted specialist in one’s field and how this can apply to any business. The discussion was rich with insights into the insurance industry, but the lessons learned are applicable to all sectors.

The importance of building a niche market

Building a niche market is like finding a specialty in medicine. Imagine if every doctor tried to treat every ailment; it would be overwhelming and ineffective. The same goes for businesses. Derek emphasized that being recognized as a specialist helps you stand out and gain trust. When customers see you as an expert in a specific area, they are more likely to trust your advice and services.

Understanding market complexities

Different markets come with their own sets of complexities, and some are as intricate as construction and hospitality. Specialized knowledge in these areas isn’t just beneficial—it’s crucial. Advisors who grasp the fine details of their client’s industry can provide tailored solutions that generalists simply cannot match. Derek’s own experiences underscored the challenges and rewards of finding a niche, shedding light on the courage it takes to narrow one’s focus and the resulting payoff.

Attracting and retaining clients in a niche market

Once you decide on building a niche market, the next step is attracting and retaining clients. Derek shared various strategies that have worked for him, from leveraging social media to traditional methods like phone calls and personal meetings. Networking through trade groups and fostering long-term relationships were also key points. These strategies are not just about getting clients but keeping them by building trust and showing value over time.

Personal stories and real-world examples

The personal stories shared during the podcast added a human element to the discussion, making it relatable to the audience. They also served as reminders of the importance of recognizing one’s value and the benefits of working smarter, not harder, to foster sustainable business growth. For instance, Derek shared how focusing on a niche allowed him to understand his clients’ needs better and provide them with more effective solutions.

The role of continuous learning

To remain at the forefront of one’s industry, constant learning is essential. Staying abreast of industry trends and legal changes helps maintain your position as a niche expert. Derek exemplified this approach by continually educating himself and his clients about the evolving landscape of the insurance world. This dedication to learning not only builds expertise but also strengthens client trust.

The rewards of specialization

The journey to specialization is not without its hurdles, but as Derek Stevenson’s story shows, the results can be profoundly rewarding. Specialization leads to greater success and recognition as an authority in your field. By honing in on a specialized market, businesses can achieve a level of success that generalists may find elusive.

Conclusion: embracing niche marketing for success

In conclusion, building a niche market is more than just a business strategy—it’s a powerful tool that, when wielded correctly, can lead to exceptional growth and client satisfaction. This episode of “Small Business Big World” offered a wealth of knowledge for any entrepreneur ready to take their business to the next level through niche marketing and specialization.

At Paper Trails, we are obsessed with assisting small businesses through their fears and headaches when it comes to payroll, HR, and small business management. We believe that by focusing on your niche and continuously learning, you can build a business that not only survives but thrives.

This podcast is a production of Paper Trails. We are a payroll and HR company based in Kennebunk, Maine, and we serve small and mid-sized businesses across New England and the country. If you found this podcast helpful, don’t forget to follow us at at Paper Trails Payroll across all social media platforms and check us out at for more information. As a reminder, the views, opinions and thoughts expressed by the hosts and guests alone. The material presented in this podcast is for general information purposes only and should not be considered legal or financial advice. By inviting this guest to our podcast, Paper Trails does not imply endorsement of or opposition to any specific individual, organization, product or service.