Niches come in all shapes and sizes. They can be something everybody will recognize or something as unique as edible men's dress shoes.
Selecting a niche doesn't have to be a complicated process, but some strategies will work better than others. Let's look at some good ways to find a niche.
Merriam-Webster defines "niche" in a few ways, two of which are relevant to business:
Most business people think of the second definition when selecting a niche. It's the particular market their business targets. The first one is an essential piece of the puzzle, though. If you target a specialized market that you're also best fitted for, it will be more successful.
And you'll likely have more fun doing it.
Identifying a specialized market that you're also well-suited for is a big part of the equation, but it's not the complete answer. You also want to be sure it's a viable market.
Are there enough other people interested in the niche? Are they willing to spend money to pursue it?
It doesn't matter how much you like a market if there aren't enough potential customers to make it worth the time and effort.
The first thing you should look for is other businesses already operating in that niche. It might seem counter-intuitive, but competition is a good thing. The chances of you uncovering a brand-new market that nobody else has ever considered are slim. So, no competition usually means the niche isn't profitable enough to be worth pursuing.
The second important consideration is the potential size of the market. Long-tail niches, or niches that are hyper-specific, can be easier to break into. But, if there's no room to grow beyond that small piece of the market, you're limiting your potential.
For example, you might start in the fitness niche by targeting divorced guys in their 40s who want to get into better shape. That's a narrow part of the fitness market, and if you're a divorced 45-year-old guy who lost 40 pounds, you'll be able to connect with them.
You could expand into other ages, nutrition advice, more specific fitness goals, and many other related things that would likely be of interest to the same guys.
Thirdly, look for a niche where people are spending money. The fitness example we mentioned would be an excellent opportunity. Guys in their 40s probably have a decent amount of disposable income. People spend a ton of money on trying to lose weight. A few minutes on Google will identify a bunch of things that are already being sold.
There are lots of business ideas to be found if you're looking for inspiration. Make sure you find a niche you'll enjoy working on, possibly for years to come.
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