Find Your Niche
Find Your Niche
As a small business, sometimes it can be difficult to figure out what your niche is. What makes you different from your competition? What part of your craft do you excel most at and do you have a specific role in your industry? For entrepreneurs, finding your niche can be a tedious task as you try on new hats and explore what you do best but once figured out, can be so rewarding. Even businesses that have been around for years, still have trouble identifying what specifically their niche is. It’s never too late to take your business to the next level. With the help of Florida Realtor magazine and other expert sources, we’ve put together the following as ways that can help you fall into your niche as a business:
1. Explore Your Passion Think about what you like to do. Now, think about what you LOVE to do. If you can picture yourself fully immersing in a certain industry for the rest of your life, it’s safe to say you’re passionate about it. Some of the best business ideas stem from our hobbies and pass-times. For instance, I may love to play football, but I may also love to cook. That doesn’t necessarily mean I am going to start a football team or be on The Food Network. Perhaps, in order to merge my two passions, I explore my niche as a business in nutrition planning and meals for athletes. If you don’t feel particularly passionate about something, make a list of your interests. This is a good starting point! For businesses that have already established their passion, you’re one step ahead! If you’re unsure about how to proceed in translating this passion to others in the form of your goods or services, consult the help of an advertising or marketing firm like Amaniac Design to help you reach the right audience and develop leads.
2. Identify Untapped Solutions for Problems This can be tricky, but it is when you find a way to deliver a solution to a problem that you begin to scratch the surface of finding your niche as an entrepreneur. People care about what benefit your product or service will offer them, so take a look around you and start looking for unfulfilled needs in your area. Perhaps you have a great business idea but your product/service doesn’t directly solve a problem. Maybe you are already in business, but aren’t satisfied with the traction you are receiving. Have conversations with your target audience about what’s important to them, their needs, etc. Look at “search” terms on Google AdWords for help pinpointing a possible unmet need in your market/industry. Focus on doing the research first, and you will get on the right track. If “free time” is not in the cards for you, hire someone else to do the primary and secondary research for you! At Amaniac Design, we target your audience and tailor the messages you want them to hear so that they are sure to hear them!
3. Check Out Your Competition Imagine that you are about to open an ice cream parlor. You’re really excited about it and plan to have unique seasonal flavors including pumpkin spice and cranberry-orange. Your shop is about to open, and you get a flyer in your mailbox for a sale that an ice cream shop near you is offering. You freak out and immediately visit the shop only to discover the promo being offered is for their new flavors…pumpkin spice and cranberry-orange! How could you not have done the research?! Avoid huge mistakes like this and make sure you scan within a 25 mile radius of where you plan to have your business located to make sure no other similar businesses exist! If your idea already exists, don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be a waste. We can help you think of other unique needs your original business idea may fulfill and re-focus your niche on that.
4. Pinpoint a Location It is important that you know exactly where you’ll be offering your product/service. Familiarize yourself with the area and what’s around you, demographics in the community, preferences and habits, etc. Try to find a location that has a lot of nearby neighborhoods or is developing. Developing/newer communities means people moving near your business who may be in need of your services! Your niche may stem from your geographic area. If you’re unsure about the best ways to tap into your niche and advertise it to surrounding areas, invest in the help you need to do so. Marketing your business in unique ways to the right audiences can serve as an unstoppable combination as you enter or maintain your position in your industry. Once you can define what is around you, you will be better able to identify needs that are unmet, thus resulting in another stepping stone to finding your niche.
5. Analyze Your Current Status Where are you in the start-up process? What resources do you still need? Are you an existing business struggling to use the resources you do have in the most effective ways? Determine the profitability of your niche. One of the most common mistakes businesses make is trying to accommodate a broad spectrum of unfulfilled needs. Lack of focus creates a blurry area in the minds of your consumers about what YOU do best and may cause them to steer in another direction. There are over 5 million small businesses in the US alone– it’s easy to blend in. Reflect on where you’re at in the time your business has been open and re-direct resources towards those areas you consistently thrive in. About 20% of new businesses don’t even survive their first year in operation. Don’t become a statistic! It’s important to analyze how much revenue your business has the potential to generate, as this can give you a good indication of whether you should re-consider ideas, etc.
6. Use Your Network In today’s day and age, it’s easy to use your social networks to help you gain leverage! Think about the groups you are involved in now. If you’re not sure where to start on this journey towards your ideal niche, then start to join groups that feed your interests and passions. Getting involved in active communities with similar interests to you could spark an idea in your head or lead you to the right place. Tap into your existing social circles and reach out to new ones! If you are already well-connected, make your current network aware of your newly targeted niche. With a clear offering, for instance, “Men’s skinny ties” vs. “Men’s Clothing”, online searchers are more likely to consider your business when they are “almost ready to buy” instead of casually landing upon your business in a broader search.
7. Try It! After analyzing your current status and researching all of the above, the ultimate way to see if you’ve established the right niche is to test it! Set up the basics: a place of business, some initial advertising and production, identification of your target audience, etc. Don’t invest too much into one outlet, and save this time for testing your marketing, your products/services, what is working, and what isn’t. Once you get a feel for the way things are going, allocate resources towards what has been successful so far and develop from there!
Whether you’re a new business or have been in operation for years, finding your niche can be equally as tiresome. Patience is a virtue. Keep these tips in mind and consider Amaniac Design to help you get on the right track!