Last week I posted: Client Development: Generalist or Specialist? I suggested that it takes more time, energy and effort to develop business as a generalist.

Suppose I have convinced you to focus on a niche market, how do you select the right niche? Have you read Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by CEO Tony Hsieh? In the book Hsieh’s describes how learning to be a successful poker player helped him be successful in business. He says that selecting the right table is a key to success. It is best to sit at a table with nine mediocre players who are tired and have lots of chips. In business it is important to decide what business to be in.

Selecting the niche practice that is right for you is like selecting the right poker table. You do not want to select a niche where someone is already the dominant lawyer in your area. When I was focusing on government contracts and construction law, I was asked to speak at an ABA Annual meeting. On a conference call the moderator asked what I would speak on. I replied highway construction contract law. He said no one (at the ABA Annual Meeting) cared about that topic. At that moment I knew I had selected the right niche.