Entrepreneurship is a difficult but rewarding discipline. To succeed, an entrepreneur must identify sectors in the market that are inadequately serviced and tend to them. There are many risks involved but handsome returns are promised if sound financial and economical decisions are made, chief among which is choosing an appropriate market niche. For even better results, it is advised to combine niche marketing with clever and creative marketing strategies.
To build some perspective, it is pertinent for an entrepreneur to observe the practices of businesses that succeeded in niche marketing. For example, a retail store Lefty based in San Francisco tends to a natural niche; left-handed people. Many appliances, devices, types of furniture and other materials are designed with right-handed people in mind, even a pair of scissors. That’s where Lefty comes in. They deal in necessities from gardening tools to school supplies all made for lefties.
To compliment this, they practice pay-per-click advertising where they bid on a search result on a search engine such as Google to direct as many potential customers to their website. For instance, if one were to Google “Left-Handed Scissors” (Yes, they exist), they would find Lefty’s’ advertisement among the search results. This practice pushes their business to the market even further and shows consumers that they offer products to cater for that particular niche.
Examples of niche products that serve a purpose include organic foods, specialist clothing sizes and customisable products. Vinyl records, for instance, cater for a specific market segment that desires the rich and premium sound quality vinyl records have to offer. This goes to show that a niche in the market does not necessarily have to have large masses of consumers behind it. It just has to be relevant and profitable, just like the vinyl record business.
So how then, are niche markets identified? Firstly, it is important to for the entrepreneur to establish their passion and interests. Success is most likely achieved when an entrepreneur is interested and enjoys what they do. This is not to mean a strict fit must be adhered to, but it is best if the entrepreneur cares about the business they’ve chosen to engage in. To do this, the entrepreneur should observe how they choose to spend their leisure time and what they look forward to doing whenever they get some free time on their hands. The shows, magazines, newspapers and social media pages they follow is a good prompt in helping to find their interests as well.
After discovering what the entrepreneur is interested in, they should then assess the market for any existing problems they can solve. Many businesses have thrived by solving the problems experienced by consumers that other firms don’t tend to and this is a great place to start for any entrepreneur. This can be done by approaching the target consumers and asking them what they feel is lacking in that particular market segment. Beyond this, the entrepreneur can go through existing forums where consumers air these problems such as Quora, as opposed to creating one themselves which can be time-consuming and expensive.
The next step for the entrepreneur is to research on their competition in the chosen market segment. Healthy competition is beneficial to any business and giving consumers what competitors don’t is fundamental for survival. This stretches beyond what the competition offers physically in form of products and services. Perhaps quality of products and services is lacking, this is a prime opportunity for an entrepreneur to step in and win the hearts of consumers over by providing goods and services of agreeable quality.
Next, and most importantly, the entrepreneur needs to establish the profitability of the chosen business model. To start with, they should consider the starting capital required to venture into their chosen investment and the means by which they will meet this end. After this, research based on information provided by existing businesses and personal experiences should be carried out to determine the level of returns on investment.
All that remains for the entrepreneur to do after following the aforementioned steps is to test their ideas and strategies. This can be done by developing a test website where pre-sales of the product in development can be made. The entrepreneur can also provide a forum for feedback where consumers can suggest features for or report complaints with the products offered.