It’s not enough to have a business that sells good products or services- if you want to stand out from your competitors and appeal to your customers more then you need to find your niche. This is what makes you different and unique compared with other similar businesses out there, and is actually the best way to get ahead of larger and already established competitors. Here’s how you can go about it.
Solve a problem
When it comes to solving a problem with your business, you really do need to think outside of the box. For example consider this- nobody buys products or services, what they’re buying is outcomes- they buy solutions to problems. This means that what you do os always going to be of secondary importance, since it’s the transformation or outcome that you bring to your clients which matters the most. The problem you’re looking to solve will be entirely dependent on what you want to do or sell. Will you be providing budget products to those on a low income? Will you be saving people space? Will you be saving people time? Will you be helping them to manage their health or their money? Once you have a general idea of what you want to do, ask yourself what problems you’re solving for customers as this is where you’ll find the gap in the market.
Research the competition
The presence of competition isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and regardless of what you want to do (even if your idea seems really ‘out there’) chances are there will be other companies out there doing something similar. You could be anything from a corrugated box company to an online learning resource about animals, or literally anything in between and chances are there will be at least one other business out there which is already established and doing what you plan on doing. Know that you don’t have to have a completely unique idea, you just have to present the idea in a unique way. And actually, finding competition likely shows that you’ve found a profitable niche. But you do need to do a thorough analysis of competing sites. Figure out whether there’s still an opportunity to stand out in the crowd; such as can you still rank for your keywords? Is there a way to differentiate yourself and present something unique and interesting for your customers?
Test your idea
As a business owner, it’s easy to be biased- you’re going to think what you do and sell is incredible. But do others feel the same way? Testing your idea is key to find out. One way is market research such as questionnaires or demonstrating a prototype. Another would be to set up a landing page for pre-sales of a product you’re developing, then drive traffic to this page with paid advertising. Even if you don’t get pre-sales it doesn’t necessarily mean that you aren’t in a viable niche, but it does mean that something isn’t quite right and you’ll need to make tweaks (either to your marketing or the products/ services themselves).
Business owners, how did you find your niche?