Finding the Right Business Niche with Josh Melick

Josh Melick is the co-founder and CEO of Broadly, a venture-backed technology company that’s raised more than $20M to build the tools that help small businesses better communicate with their customers. An engineer by trade, Melick has previously been in executive leadership at Intuit and AT&T.

When you’re starting a new business, finding the right niche is essential to success. It’s not enough to just know your industry and target customer—you need to carefully select a narrow market that you can dominate.

When starting Broadly, Josh Melick and his co-founder were clear on their mission: simplify how small businesses manage and communicate with their customers. They saw a problem in the way companies were using technology to reach their customers and knew they could build tools to improve that process.

“We saw that companies were spending an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out how to market themselves online,” Melick said. “There was no digital presence that helped them do that well.”

The company’s flagship product, Showbie, helps businesses manage their customer relationships through simple touchpoint management. The platform allows you to create an effortless communication workflow within your company by organizing tasks and tracking critical customer feedback on the go.

“We started Broadly because we saw a huge opportunity in simplifying how companies interact with customers online,” he said. “The reality is that most businesses are not very good at managing customers through digital touchpoints—and they’re spending a ton of money trying to figure it out.”

Broadly started with two people and has since grown into a company of more than 20 employees. Melick has faced challenges along the way around hiring, especially when it comes to finding people who have the skills to deliver a great product.

“It’s hard to get the right mix of technical and business knowledge,” he said. “We’re not just looking for engineers—we need people with marketing experience too.”

One thing that Melick has been doing well is building a leadership team that reflects the diversity of his target customers.

“It’s important when hiring to constantly challenge yourself on whether you’re thinking about it from your customer’s perspective,” he said. “What does that person look like, act like, sound like?”

Melick does this by ensuring that there are people at Broadly who can speak to their prospective customers in ways that personalize the experience.

“We talk about how real people will be using our product—not just one small business owner,” he said. “Hearing it from our team members reminds us of who we’re really building for.”

“One thing people forget is that building a business is more than just having an idea,” Melick said. “It’s all about persevering through the tough times.”

“Running a business takes hard work, dedication, and commitment—and there are going to be days when you’re not sure if it will work out or not.”

Melick’s advice is that you should be persistent in moving forward with your idea.

“It’s not about the idea; it’s about the execution,” he said. “You have to take things one day at a time and keep putting one foot in front of the other.”