The paper "Targeting a Niche Market - SMBs" is a great example of a marketing case study. The argument that SMBs owners may not be able to keep up with the changing legal and regulatory obligations of their businesses is validated by this research. Some private franchise and SMBs owners do not consult legal services providers and are sometimes ignorant of the legal obligations required of them. Results indicate that a majority 63 percent of SMB have used legal services compared to 37 percent who have not. Those who have not can be assumed to the small businesses who have 1-5 employees and do not need much legal assistance, or they could be ignorant of their legal needs.
Major services sought include drafting of documents, buying or selling of property, workplace claims and contract disputes and registration requirements. Without research, it is easy for legal firms and lawyers to assume that their customers rate them the same way they rate themselves. However, this may not be the case. For instance, in a study conducted by May (1994) on attorneys and owners of small businesses, attorneys rated themselves as being excellent inadequacy and availability while the small business owners thought they were just satisfactory.
The study also established that, while attorneys thought that business owners were hesitant and unwilling to seek legal services for fear of the costs associated with it, the business owners themselves indicate that they are more willing to seek legal help. The evidence obtained from this study would inform the strategy that Stacks would adopt to meet its business objectives. As such, this study proposes the following recommendations to Stacks Law Firm. Targeting a niche market (SMBs) Although identifying the potential of SMBs for Stacks was not among the objectives of this study, the results indicate a great potential for growth should Stacks Law Firm target this niche market.
Porter’ s (2008) analysis of Stark’ s competition shows that there are many legal firms that offer services for SMS and franchises. As such, the only way that Starch would remain competitive is raising the bar of their services and differentiate itself from other firms. While Stacks offers a range of services for different businesses, adding more emphasis for this market could increase its prospects for expansion.
The Australian Government (2016) requires every SMBs owners to adhere to several legal and legislative requirements; business registration, licences, privacy act, independent contractors and dismissal rules among others. Apart from the many requirements, Nelson (2016) assert that there is an increase in law firms and competition has increased. Additionally, Porter’ s (2008) Five Forces analysis indicated that the rivalry existing between the firms is high. Thus, for Stacks to remain competitive, it can either differentiate the services it offers or concentrates on a potential niche market.
Targeting SMBs is one way of achieving both; it can tailor its services to meet the needs of the niche market thus differentiating their services. Coverdale et al. (2012) say that small businesses tend to seek legal assistance from accountants rather than from lawyers, and those who choose to go to lawyers seek specialists. Stacks can take advantage of this avenue to both provide specialist services that will demonstrate the difference of seeking legal help from a lawyer as opposed to an accountant.
Stacks could also put in place a strategy creating awareness to SMB owners to seek the right service from the right people; legal services from lawyers and financial services from accountants.
Coumarelos, C, Macourt, D, People, J, McDonald, H. M, Wei, Z, Iriana, R & Ramsey, S 2012, ‘Legal Australia-Wide Survey: Legal need in Australia’, Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales, Sydney.
Grimley, J, 2015, ‘Australian Law firm LegalVision is generating 20 new customer leads per day from their blog’, Asian Law Portal, September 17, 2015. Available at: http://www.asialawportal.com/2015/09/17/australian-law-firm-legalvision-is-generating-20-new-customer-leads-per-day-from-their-inbound-content-strategy/
May, BE 1994, 'Adequacy, availability & quality of legal services for small businesses: A South Dakota study', South Dakota Business Review, vol. 53, no. 2, p. 1.