Do you remember, as a kid, that one special hobby or collection that you put so much effort into making perfect and uniquely your own? Mine was keychains. I collected them from aquariums, the aisles of the department stores and even my dad’s company memorabilia. At that point, I was passionate about having the best collection I could possibly accrue. 

Now, collecting keychains wasn’t realty unique and doesn’t translate into a solid business plan…

However, the idea that you can take your passions and mold them into a specific niche that works for you is exactly what the Pea Pod Family Resource Center in Portland, OR did.

The Pea Pod is a parent-run childcare program that empowers families by offering the resources needed throughout the stages of parenting. This co-op style childcare offers programs for children ages 15 month to 3.5 years.

They found their niche from a personal experience…and uses that to drive their success every day.

Tara Sawyer, one of the founders, explains, “Our business found success by finding a niche, particularly with our cooperative childcare programs. We provide a way for families to share in part-time childcare, to participate in their child’s social and emotional growth, and to create community with a consistent group of families at a very affordable price. All of our founding board members had personal experiences working in a cooperative type setting, and they were able to identify and incorporate the critical elements to make these programs meaningful and valuable to our customers.”

So how can you find your specific niche and turn it into something really spectacular?

Identify your skills and listen to your gut. Make sure your heart and your brain are aligned. Once you outline your skills, make sure it’s something you really enjoy doing. Then tell your story. Establish yourself as an industry expert and make people want to come to you for more.

Step outside of your comfort zone. “We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are,” Max DePree. There might never be a perfect time, a perfectly calculated risk or a perfect opportunity. But by being proactive and not waiting for the brilliant idea to come to you, you can capitalize on that fire that fuels your passion.

Redefine the norm. What makes you unique is what will make your niche work. The Pea Pod is rewriting the rules of school. “We are passionate about coming to work every day because we watch the kids grow and form relationships with each other. These kids become family and Pea Pod is like their second home. There is nothing sweeter than watching 2-year-olds holding hands, playing princess and trains together…and being so excited to come to ‘school’ every day,” explained Sawyer.

While the Pea Pod has been in business just a few young years, it’s clear that their passion and energy has set them up for success. They have found their niche and will continue to make their presence known.

Click here to learn more about them and how they’re impacting the Portland, OR area.

Have you found your niche? We believe in the power of small business and are here to give you time back in your day to focus on that. Click here to find out how we can help your unique business.