John Henry of Cofound Harlem spoke at Big Omaha 2016 about his first job as a doorman, his work doing dry cleaning for Hollywood movies and television, and what he’s learned investing in Harlem. He also discussed what he learned when he became the go-to dry cleaning service for movie and television studios.
“There’s riches in niches,” said Henry. “While everyone [in dry cleaning] was killing themselves going for $40 transactions, each account we had brought us $75,000 to $100,000 in just a couple of months, and we were the only players in the space.”
When startups begin and they have limited resources it’s a good idea to focus on a small niche market, according to Henry.
“Don’t try to boil the ocean. It’s far too broad,” said Henry. “Instead, pick a small pond and do a really good job there.”
The way to identify a niche is find where individuals know individuals, where your business can grow easily by word of mouth.
“Wardrobe supervisors would hang out with other ones, who would hang out with other ones,” said Henry. “And they would refer me, and slowly but surely I broke onto the scene.”
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