You’ve spent a lot of time defining your market, scouting out clients, and building your business. Now it’s time to protect the niche that you’ve created for yourself. Below, we’re going to cover three important ways that you can do this.

Stick to who you are and what you do. Don’t change your business model in an attempt to lure in a big customer that may be looking for services outside of your niche. That doesn’t mean you should turn down work, but be wary of taking on clients and projects that may change the public perception of your company or make it difficult for you to continue providing great service to existing clients.

Add value to discourage competitors from entering your market. The more you provide for your clients, the harder it is for another business to win them away from you. These barriers to entry can be created simply by doing something extra that the competition can’t or won’t do. Perhaps you are a landscaper, in which case, offer to visit your prospects’ home and create a customized proposal for no charge. You’re an accountant? Offer free consultations—and be completely transparent about what you can and cannot deliver. You’re a plumber? Don’t charge for the visit, only for work—and only once the customer is completely satisfied. While these things might seem like they aren’t that big of a deal, they mean a lot to consumers. They also make your services more difficult to replicate.

Protecting your customers, your knowledge, and your process is essential. Look into signing non-disclosure agreements when it comes to outsourcing any work or for big projects that might involve partnership deals. It may seem unnecessary, but competitors would love to learn anything and everything that they can about you and your business to either replicate it or improve upon it. A non-disclosure agreement will drastically cut down on the risk of your secrets getting out.

You have worked hard to position your company where it is. You’ve built a loyal clientele and you’ve attracted talented employees. Don’t fail to defend your niche!

Thoughts or comments on this subject? We’d love to hear what you have to say… leave a comment below!