Finding Your Business Niche
Is there a commercial product or service you are passionate about? Who are your customers? What is it about you and your business that makes you stand out from your competitors?
If you are considering starting a new business, or adding products or services to your existing business, you need to have answers to these questions. If you can’t answer these questions immediately, you have some work to do before launching your new idea, or you are destined to fail.
Many hopeful business people get wrapped up in the technical details of their business plan – marketing, cash-flow, sales projections – they may miss the most important first step of any plan; finding their business niche.
My old college Webster’s dictionary defines a niche as “a place, employment, or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted”. Answering the questions I posed above is the first step in finding your special place in business, and determining your own personal niche.
A niche is a focused topic rather than broad. For example, “IT Services” is a general topic, while “Network security, or cloud based system” is much more specific. Another general category “contract” and a targeted sub-category is “service contract or sales agreement”.
You do not want to be figuring out your niche after you’ve launched your new business or added that new product that seemed like a good idea. Do not wait until your business faces a slow-down or your sales pipeline is running on empty before defining your niche.
After you’ve answered those questions above about what makes you and your business special, you can then translate those qualities into what the market wants and needs.
One of the best ways to do this is to ask your repeat customers why they do business with you – try to get feedback on your skills, service and what their favorite thing or deciding-factor is and why they come to you.
Research your desired clients and find problems in your targeted area. Or, call your competition and find out if they offer the product or service you’d like to launch as your niche.
Regardless of the type of business or service your offer, new or existing; doing your homework and defining your niche before launching that new idea will give you the advantage needed in your marketplace.