Telling the truth about SME life today

What Are Business Verticals?

What is a business vertical?

Business verticals are products or services provided or offered by a company to a targeted market or specified group of customers. These products are usually seen as a subset of the various activities of a business, which includes all the products and services offered by a company.

In today’s economy and rapidly changing marketplace, businesses must be effective and adaptable to conditions to ensure survival. Due to this, businesses are incorporating verticals as a method to focus and stay ahead of the competition in the marketplace. Read on to find out more.

What are Business Verticals?

The term “vertical” is used to describe the market area that a company targets, specialises, and the services or products it offers to that market. For instance, a clothing company that produces and sells clothes for teenage girls only would be regarded as a vertical marketer. Similarly, a car manufacturer that focuses on assembling luxury vehicles can also be regarded as a luxury car business vertical.

In simple terms, being able to understand and take advantage of business verticals is important for any company with success as their goal in today’s market. By targeting specialised markets and customising products offered according to the requirements, will ensure businesses can stay separated from the competition while maximising profits.

Can You Have Multiple Verticals?

Some companies or businesses specialise their focus on just one business vertical, while others focus on multiple business verticals. For example, a company might maintain several business verticals for its services, consumer products, and industrial products. Companies maintain several business verticals in order to diversify its risks and revenues.

Understanding the differences between several types of business market is critical for a number of reasons. It helps companies and businesses alike understand customers better, and develop strategies specialised in retaining them and improving customer-business relationships. Furthermore, breaking down the business into specialised segments can make it easier to focus on improving each while tracking progress and measuring results.

What are the Differences between Vertical and Horizontal Markets?

When it comes to market based businesses, there are two main types of markets considered: verticals and horizontal markets. Each type of market offers its own set of benefits and drawbacks. It’s important therefore that businesses understand the key differences between them before incorporating them into their marketing strategy.

Vertical Markets Overview

Vertical markets are markets in which businesses offer products to a specified segment or industry within the market. Therefore, verticals are usually smaller and specialised.

Vertical markets usually require a greater level of focus and expertise from businesses, which also means there’s reduced competition in this market, which can provide a competitive advantage from the business’s point of view.

Another advantage of vertical markets, is the fact that vertical markets tend to be more stable compared to horizontal markets, as they are not victims to fluctuations in the economy due to reduced competition.

Horizontal Markets Overview

On the other hand, horizontal markets are markets in which products provided by businesses can tend to a wide range of problems or customers, making horizontal markets less specialised and much larger than vertical markets.

Horizontal markets offer space and potential for growth, but also tend to be very competitive, as businesses have to contend with larger numbers of other businesses or rivals. This means that horizontal markets can become victim to economic fluctuations, as consumers might attempt to reduce spending and cut costs during this period.

Advantages of Business Verticals

Business verticals have become a popular market for businesses to operate and provide specialised products and marketings. There are a number of advantages to this approach, including the freedom to focus on specific markets and improve relationships to increase efficiency.

  • One of the main selling points of business verticals is the freedom to focus on a specific market. This advantage can be beneficial for businesses that provide products or services that are used by specific audiences.
  •  Businesses operating in a vertical can easily customise their sales effort and marketing target, which will lead to increase in sales and revenues.
  • Furthermore, business verticals can assist businesses in building better and stronger business-customer relationships. By understanding the specific needs of customers, businesses can customise the product and services they offer to meet these needs.
  • Another important advantage of the business vertical for businesses is the potential for improved efficiency and revenue. When business adopts vertical markets, they can eliminate and reduce extravagant or duplicate costs and processes, which can lead to reduced costs and business growth.
  • Business verticals can often simplify processes and increase automation which in return reduces production time and makes products available at the required time.

Overall, business verticals offer a specific range of advantages for business that adopts it. They can help businesses in focusing on improving efficiency and cutting costs, building stronger customer-business relationships and focusing on specific markets, reducing extravagant processes. For these reasons, business verticals will continue to be preferred for years to come.

Disadvantages of Business Verticals

When it comes to business, loss is both inevitable and critical for success. This is especially true when companies or businesses decide to change their strategy and specialise in a specific industry or product line, also known as creating business verticals.

Although, business verticals is an efficient strategy with advantages, there are also some potential setbacks that companies venturing into business verticals should be aware of.

  • One of the main disadvantages of business verticals is that it limits a company’s financial growth potential, flexibility and adaptability to changing times. For instance, if a business specialises in selling gadgets, difficulty arises when attempting to branch into other options, when the gadget business begins to reduce. This lack of stability will affect the business overall performance.
  • Another important disadvantage usually occurs when a company adopts more than one business vertical with each department focussing on its own independent tasks, this can make collaboration difficult and make it harder to share resources and knowledge across each department. This lack of cooperation can lead to reduction in efficiency and duplication of efforts. It may even lead to a competitive environment within the company rather than the collaborating environment that is expected.
  • Looking from a financial perspective, business verticals can be a very risky strategy. For instance, if a company has set up different business verticals and is running as expected, each business vertical must meet its criteria to offset losses incurred in other verticals. Otherwise, it could lead to the downfall of the whole business.

Ultimately, it’s also advisable to remind companies that business verticals aren’t that easy to set or maintain. They require accurate and effective planning and execution, and as a business may still fail to improve in efficiency and profitability.

Therefore, all these factors need to be considered before companies can decide on whether to adopt the vertical market and specialise in any specific area or not.

Examples of Business Verticals

Businesses are mostly classified into one of these categories: services, products or information with different types of businesses based within each of the categories.

For instance, a service based business may offer hairdressing or plumbing, an information based business may offer marketing outreach services or accounting skills, and a product based business may offer car sales or merchandising.

Most of these businesses then fall into a specific “vertical” or market segment.

By understanding the concept of each category vertical, entrepreneurs can provide well tailored products and services for the targeted audience.

There are various business verticals, but some of the most common verticals include:

  • agriculture
  • automotive
  • construction
  • consumer goods,
  • education,
  • energy
  • financial services
  • healthcare
  • hospitality
  • manufacturing
  • media
  • retail
  • tech
  • Transportation

Each of them being a vertical, has their own unique advantages and challenges. For instance, a consumer based business in the consumer industry, must constantly improve and adapt to stay relevant and keep up with the changes in consumer taste, while businesses based in the industries like the transportation industry have to deal with changes in agreements, consumer preferences and complex regulations

Understanding the concept of the various business verticals is essential for entrepreneurs and business alike aiming to become successful in the business industry.

Business Verticals in B2B

In the business-to-business category, verticals can be classified by industry, geographic region, and size of the company. For example, a software based company can have different business verticals or services for small business and enterprise customers.

A company that offers gadgets services may offer one vertical for Europe and another for the UK. Similarly, a company that offers office supplies may produce one vertical for North America and another for Europe.

Business vertical as a term can often be used interchangeably with “market segment” however, some experts deduce that verticals are more narrowly focused than segments as segments can be viewed as less focused and based on customers with similar needs or characteristics.

How to Know if a Business Vertical is Right for You

When businesses intend to expand into new markets or focus on a certain business vertical, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Businesses will need to carefully analyse and consider whether the interested business vertical fits their company’s agenda.

Below are a few things to consider:

  • First, research the volume of demand for the product or services the business intends to offer in the new market. If there’s no demand, or low level of demand, it’s unlikely for the business to generate significant revenue in the new market.
  • Secondly, consider the competition. As a business vertical, there should be reduced competition, but if there’s already a few well established businesses offering the same services in the market, your business will need to have a unique and strong value proposition to attract customers.
  • Finally, analyse whether the current business model is well suited to the new market of interest. For instance, if the business is offering physical products, expanding to a market with increased or high shipping costs could reduce revenue and be challenging.

By carefully analysing these factors, businesses can decide whether the business vertical of interest is right for them.

How to Market Your Business When Entering a New Vertical

When it comes to marketing strategy and decisions, expanding to a new business vertical can both be exciting and a challenging problem. On one hand, there’s potential to tap into a whole new set of customers and improve revenue, while on the other hand, knowing where to start and how to go can be challenging.

The interesting part, is that with a bit of planning and analysis of current business patterns, businesses can successfully market their products into a new vertical

  • It’s crucial to have an informed understanding of the needs and wants of the target market. This includes their problems and what they expect from a product.
  • Before moving into a new business vertical, having an understanding of those questions and how your business intends to solve them, will get the business started on the right foot.
  • Once you have an understanding of the needs of the target market, creating targeted content that relates to their needs and how your business plans to solve them should be the next step. This content could be in the form of social media posts, blog posts, video contents, or any medium to get the attention of the target audience.
  • Another key factor to keep in mind to ensure successful marketing in a new vertical, is building connections and relationships with key figures in the industry the business just expanded into.
  •  You can build relationships by participating in online forums, attending trade shows or even reaching out directly to key figures in your target market. By creating these relationships, your business can better their marketing strategy and outreach to the right audience.

Ultimately, with enough planning and effort, marketing in a new business vertical and market can be successful if done properly. By doing enough research and analysis to understand the problems of your target market and build interpersonal relationships with key figures within the industry, will get your business started on the right foot.

Final Thoughts

We hope this guide has shed light on business verticals and how to decide the right business vertical for your business. By specialising in one segment, businesses can reduce competition and improve customer services while increasing profits.

However, not all businesses are required to move to a new business vertical, as they are better suited to a wider target market due to the products they offer. For some companies, it’s more beneficial to have a horizontal market where they offer a more diverse range of products and services. In the end, it depends on the business and what fits their business model best.

As a business considering either a vertical business model or any other type of business model, it’s important that accurate research and analysis is done to make sure the new business model and its audience fits your business properly.



Related Stories

More From

Most Read


If you enjoyed this article,
why not join our newsletter?

We promise only quality content, tailored to suit what our readers like to see!