I decided to write about choosing a market niche for your business once again, cause this is a very popular topic and I feel like I missed some important details last time.
How to Choose Your Market Niche
This is a quick seven-step guide for entrepreneurs who don’t know yet what market niche to choose (this question arises so often I wrote a couple of posts on the matter and finally decided to write this guide as well). OK, I promised it to be quick, so let’s begin.
Make a list of what YOU need
Sit down, take a piece of paper or open a word processor (like I do now, cause my handwriting ability atrophied long ago due to writing online too much) and list every product or a service that YOU would like to buy online, but can’t decide where. Notice, I am not saying find something that’s IMPOSSIBLE to buy. You just need a niche that’s not completely occupied by a single player (like Amazon for books). As long as some niche is mostly occupied by smaller players, you have a chance. Write down whatever you come up with. Come back to re-read the list in a couple of days. It’s always a good idea to take a second look at things when your head is fresh from initial excitement. Did you come up with anything viable? Great! You didn’t? No problem!
Make a list of what people you know need
Just repeat step one with people you know. Talk to your family, friends and colleagues. Anyone you know. Good idea is also not just talking, but LISTENING. People sometimes tell you more unconsciously than they do deliberately. Listen to any small talks around etc. Ideas will come if you’re tuned to catch them. Found something? Good! Nothing? Keep listening and add…
Make a list of what people online need
Online research. Online forums, Reddit, social networks are all absolutely awesome tools to look for what people ask for and therefore, need. Note, I’m not saying “Google for people’s needs”, because if you do such a search, results will most likely show what people SELL, not what they need. You need genuine questions about problems and needs. Found something? You almost certainly did. If you didn’t yet, just keep digging for information, it will certainly come. Needless to say it’s better to combine all these steps. It will save you a lot of time and your choice will be much more reliable if you cross-test it in different forms (ideally, find something online, then ask people you know about it, get a confirmation and think that you like that thing yourself).
Analyze what of those needs YOU can meet
Alright, now think if you can meet that need? Do you have required skills, funding etc.? Sometimes ideas are realistic, sometimes not. We all have to deal with this hard fact. I’d probably like to compete with Elon Musk in his fantastic projects, but it’s not very likely that I’m able to succeed at it. Probably you like the idea so much that you’re ready to learn a new skill or get a funding. Great! Do that (but always have a plan B in case of failure. Living in a carton box sucks even for enthusiastic entrepreneur). In many cases you probably have the necessary skill and can afford the project. That’s even better! Nobody requires you to start with something epic. Most large corporations started as small businesses. So why break that good habit of Great Apes?
Analyze the market reaction to your chosen niche
Now, when you have the idea of your product or service, do some analysis to see how people react to it. Don’t give away private details, your potential competitors are looking for ideas, too! Just provide a general description, probably even disguised as a question. Now you have stats of your search for needs and stats for an attitude toward your particular business idea. Frankly, step one is enough, because people often tend to under-react to questions about business ideas (we’re all hardwired to be a little bit skeptic about anything new). But having a double confirmation is even better of course!
Find and set up a business model for your chosen niche
Now as you decided what to do, develop a business model. Plan your budget, find a supplier or a producer, negotiate pricing, payment, shipment and the rest of details. Make sure you found a software platform that meets your business needs and is easy to use for customers. Be conservative at first. Don’t order too much of a single product if you’re not diversified. Living in a home full of unsold boxes of useless stuff is not much better than living in a carton box!
Now it’s time to get your feet wet! I assume you’ve got something in an inventory (or a drop-shipment agreement), set up a website, payment gateway etc. Launch it! From day one search engines will start to index your site and soon you’ll notice organic traffic (which is quality and FREE!). But you don’t want to wait, right? I didn’t! So you also launch a PPC (pay per click) advertising campaign. But that’s a topic of our next guide, which you will receive if you follow my blog.
I wish you choose a market niche, which makes you good money and brings a lot of satisfaction! If this guide helps, please tell me how it did. If it doesn’t, please tell what didn’t work, so that I can give you advice on what can be done to succeed anyway.
Now, just go and do it!
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