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How to Find Your Niche Within the Document Imaging Market

September 09, 2017

How to Find Your Niche Within the Document Imaging Market

Finding a niche for a document imaging reseller helps to simplify integration and marketing, helps you develop a strong reference base, and enables a VAR to focus on developing deeper solutions to address customer problems common to that niche. In this post, we will present you with five questions to ask to help you discover which niche is right for you.

  1. What are you selling now? In today’s market, document imaging is often deployed as a complementary technology. This means that if you are selling accounts payable solutions, for example, imaging can complement that by being used on invoices, which often enter an organization as paper documents. Or, if you are selling a lot of SharePoint integration services, you can build an imaging repository on top of SharePoint. Basically, if there is any way that paper documents are related or can be linked to the core service you are providing, then that could be your niche.

  2. Where’s the paper? This is the question you always need to ask when selling document imaging, because, as the old saying goes,”If you have five sheets of paper, you need a paper clip; if you have thousands, you may need a document imaging solution.” Do you notice any common problems your customers are having with paper? Maybe you are selling to physicians’ offices and they all have patient folders, or to credit unions or community banks that deal with paper loan applications. If you can find a common paper problem, chances are you can come up with an imaging solution that can be deployed to solve it.

  3. Is imaging currently being used successfully for a particular application? Invoice processing, customer onboarding, HR forms, contract management, student and patient records, change forms, and order forms are just a few examples of applications currently being addressed by document imaging. Vendor websites are full of case studies and trade shows feature presentations explaining the details behind successful implementations in these niches. Do any of them seem like they would work in your market? Remember, just because something is already being done doesn’t mean there isn’t opportunity for you. Most estimates are that SMBs are less than 20 percent penetrated by document imaging.

  4. What type of direction are the vendors encouraging resellers to go? Vendors spend a lot of resources on market research and often offer education, assistance, and incentives for resellers to pursue a particular niche. They may even develop integrations and marketing programs to make a certain niche easier and more attractive. If you are trying to develop a niche, don’t be shy about asking your vendor for help. You can also use the Ingram Micro Document Imaging APP to see what current offerings vendors have for rebates or promotions.

  5. What do you find interesting? Because you’re going to be the one servicing a niche and spending a good deal of your time pursuing it, you probably want to choose one that you find interesting. Do you feel strongly that digitizing patient records will improve healthcare, and because of that, is it something you want to pursue? Are you intrigued by A/P processing and enabling customers to take advantage of opportunities in emerging areas such as dynamic discounting? Then maybe A/P processing is the niche for you.

Patience Will Pay Off

No matter what niche you choose, do not expect overnight success (that’s part of the reason it helps to find something you are interested in). There is going to be a learning curve while you figure out what works and what doesn’t work in that particular niche. But if you develop your expertise, get some early customers to serve as references, and are able to maintain your focus, the rewards of finding a document imaging niche should come your way. Then, you can decide where to go next, whether it’s after another document imaging niche or providing another service within your chosen niche.