Imagine you’re on a committee charged with building an animal shelter in your town. Your group includes a few animal rescue types, but none of you have ever built a shelter from the ground up before.You decide to hire yourself an architectural consultant to help guide you through the process.Who should you invite to propose?Your first thought is a locally well-known architect who is very familiar with your town’s zoning and construction laws. But will he know the ins and outs of animal shelters?So you do what anyone in your position would do: you google “animal shelter architects” and discover 143 million hits. Turns out, it’s a niche (and one of the few searches that literally does not have a single ad at the top of the page).A few minutes in and you let the top hits educate you about the process. Like how to use materials that are easy to clean and sanitize. How you want the design of adoption space to maximize opportunities for animals to bond with their new potential families. And the kinds of spaces you might need for community outreach and training.Then you browse images to see different design styles that might work in your local community (learning that architecture styles, temperature ranges and terrain will all impact your final design).And then you discover a whole google category for animal shelter design consultants (a more manageable 9 million hits).All of a sudden your local architect is looking like a very bad choice. You want the one who has solved the problems you didn’t even know you had 15 minutes ago.Here’s the thing.
They’re looking for the one expert who has the right combination of specialized knowledge, proven outcomes and the ability to help them through a big unknown. They want a niche player.They’re only going to do it once—which is why they value your expertise and market authority far more than a local generalist.And, not coincidentally, why they’ll also be ready to pay you more for it.