Most revolutionary ideas end up dying a quiet death due to the overpopulated competitors within the market. Customers demand specialization. Choosing a target business niche early on is a definite way of positioning your organization/startup for scalable success.
Let’s begin by understanding the importance of a “business niche” and “niching down” and the key steps to identifying a profitable solution.
What is a business niche?
A business niche is a more focussed and targeted sector within a market. Various mainstream providers often fail to meet the specific needs of the customers with their products or services.
A focussed business niche manages to do just that.
Finding a niche market helps you create opportunities to provide services that have been overlooked by other businesses. While this does narrow down your potential customer base, it works by being more dense within the targeted group and hence is considered to be a more profitable marketing strategy.
So why do you need to niche down?
Niching down is perhaps one of the most popular marketing or branding advice that is given by business coaches around the globe.
But what does it really mean and why is it important to identify a business niche that works for you?
Niching down basically means to narrow down your focus areas to your ideal target customers and get your marketing plans to be in sync with that.
Whether you’re an ambitious entrepreneur who has huge plans for a wide spread online business or a young blogger, the only way to scale up your plans is by homing in on a specific business niche.
Now, that’s not really as complicated as it sounds. Read on to understand more.
So, for example, you have a great business plan to work in the hair care industry. Now, hair care is a huge market with some major multi-million dollar business brands as its key players. You as s start-up can come up at a similar scale due to limitations of finance, human resources and time.
So how do you keep your self rooted to the segment without the giant players kicking you off the ground? This is where “niching down” or focussing on a particular business niche within the industry works.
You need to narrow down your market and services to find a smaller subsection of customers that are actually keen on a particular product or service but do not have the required catering.
That’s your “niche”.
Most marketing managers agree that businesses that are well defined and keep a laser-sharp focus on a particular niche are better poised to grow within the industry.
5 step formula for identifying a profitable business niche
So how do you identify a profitable business niche that sets you apart in a competitive market?
Following are the 5 key steps that you need to sort out when looking for a lucrative niche that works for you.
1. Identify your passion
Businesses that are not backed up with a strong passion hardly taste success in the long run. Recognizing your passion is hence the first place to start to identify your business niche.
Take some time to reflect on your favorite industries and your key areas of interest. Jot down the answers to the following questions to get more clarity on your passions and interests:
- What are your favorite work sectors?
- How can your education, academic qualification help you grow your business?
- What are the skills that you naturally have?
- Will your work knowledge/skills help you in your chosen business niche?
- How well researched are you in your chosen sector?
- Will you be able to keep your interests in the sector as the business demands grow?
2. Find your market/target customers
If you have a passionate business idea, the first thing to do is to look up your potential cutomers or the target market. Consider taking up a thorough study of the following points when researching your target consumers:
- What is the motive of buying for your potential customers?
- How much is the need?
- What are their pain points/problems faced?
- Can your service/identified niche meet their requirements?
- What are their past product research and buying behaviors?
Various online tools (free as well as paid) are available to figure out the potential market through techniques like keyword research.
Tools like Google keyword planner, Ahrefs, etc can help study the search volumes for your chosen subjects. A very high search volume might mean a very competitive market that might be hard to sustain. Similarly, a very low search volume could indicate that the market is not substantial enough to be taken up.
3. Study the competition
Even the most viable business ideas fail when they have to compete with a large number of similar businesses. Studying your potential competitors is hence a very important strategy before you plan to launch your business is the market.
The keyword research ideas as mentioned earlier can help you understand the competition. A well scoped out business niche is the one that has a small market that is offering low quality products or services at the moment.
4. Narrow down your niche and study its profitability
This is the final step before you begin testing your chosen business niche. Since you’ll be dedicating your financial resources as well as your time for the start-up, it is important to study its potential profitability. Not all niches or business ideas that you come out with are worth taking up.
After you’ve researched the target customers and the potential competition, consider further narrowing down your niche.
Consider evaluating the following factors to get a general idea of its future profitability:
- Customer demographics
- Customer interests and buying behaviors
- Prices and margins in the market
- Product quality required
- Competitor pricing
Various online tools are available to check out the subsets within a particular niche and how they rank up on search volumes. Going as deep as you possibly can helps you find a subject that you’re passionate about, has a fair customer base and is easy to compete in.
5. Test your niche
It finally comes down to testing your niche.
Sometimes, even thorough market research following all the steps mentioned above does not show the profits as expected.
It is hence important to test the market in realtime. Setting up a complete website that announces your business is a process that needs both time and funds. Before you actually do that, consider using tools like Leadpages or through other social media pages/posts.
Introduce your business to your potential customers. This will allow you to check the interest that your chosen business niche creates. It is also a good idea to test your niche in terms of the traffic and conversions that your page gets.
Finally, one of the main ingredients required for choosing a profitable business niche is a “bold step”. Conceptual failures happen, even when all the advised niching precautions are taken.
However, failures are not always bad.
Niche failures help you get a better understanding of your market, edge out of your comfort zone and narrow down your niche even further. This is the time to get hyperintense with your business venture idea and create better chances to succeed.
Bold ideas and niche expertise are highly valued in the modern business world. It is hence important to capitalize on a carefully selected business niche.
Recognizing your passions, analyzing the target customers, studying your potential market and focussing on a narrowed down niche is important for a successful business venture.
Time to turn your idea into a business!