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#RecipeforSuccess: How to develop a niche practice

What are we cooking up with our #RecipeforSuccess campaign? We asked QuickBooks ProAdvisors® to provide key ingredients and steps for your clients’ small businesses to help them grow and be more successful. Search “Recipe” to find related articles on this site, and join the conversation on Twitter: #RecipeForSuccess.

Master Chef: Jill Ulett, Accounting Girl, LLC

Niching your practice takes a lot of introspection. It’s not enough to know the profession you enjoy working with (though that’s a perfect start!). You also need to have a clear grasp on your values, attitudes and lifestyle. Knowing your values increases your ability to see those values in others. Going through a demographic and psychographic list of characteristics helps narrow down your market, and makes it easier to target your marketing directly to your ideal client.


  • Excel spreadsheet or similar
  • Current client list
  • List of demo and psychographics


Step 1: Create your demo-psychographic list

Demo-psychographics are the variations in the structure of a population. They include key factors such as gender, age, industry and location. Demo-psychographics are best used when they go deeper into a set of values. Psychographics can include factors such as political views, relaxation techniques and introvert/extrovert tendencies. You can find full lists online; add in your own important factors, too!

Step 2: Set up your Excel spreadsheet

In Column A, list all of your current clients, leaving a space for yourself at the top. Across the top rows, list each demo-psychographic you’d like to track.

Step 3: Fill in all columns to the best of your ability

For yourself, think about what’s important to you and the types of people you’d like to work with. For example, you may find that you prefer to work with women, 40-50 years of age, who live in suburban areas, are married with children and have at least a college education. Fill in each row for your clients, thinking about who they are and what’s important to them.

Step 4: Sort the columns, analyzing to find trends and cohorts (groups that share similar characteristics)

For example, sort by industry: You may realize that you work with one industry more than another. The more columns you sort by, the more you’ll start seeing trends and similarities between your clients. As you analyze these demo-psychographics, a picture of your ideal client will become clearer.

Step 5: Define your niche

Now that you know what your ideal client looks like, it’s time to define your niche practice! Maybe, you noticed that 40 percent of your clients are in construction and 70 percent use QuickBooks® Online (QBO). If you’re one of the many firms moving to the cloud, you might want to convert all of your clients to that platform. QBO becomes your horizontal niche, while construction is your vertical niche.

Step 6: Marketing

It’s time to start going after your niche market! All of your social media and print marketing, as well as your networking, can be configured to target your ideal client. Use the demo-psychographic trends to create a story that will turn into your elevator speech. Before you know it, you will become fully associated with your niche by everyone you know and the referrals will start rolling in!

What’s your #RecipeForSuccess? The recipe may be different, but the saying, “The riches are in the niches,” remains the same. Good luck!

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