With all of the resources available to us these days, entrepreneurship is within the grasp of more people than ever before.
Now more than ever, your million-dollar idea could actually be worth a million dollars.
How to identify a needful niche when launching a business
The only issue is that, until you actually try to run a business, it’s nearly impossible to know if that business will succeed or not.
No matter how brilliant your idea seems in your head, until you’ve invested in it and brought it to the public, it’s difficult to know for sure if anybody shares your enthusiasm.
While the ultimate test for your business will come in the establishment of it, you can do a handful of things to prepare yourself beforehand.
The idea here is that, although you can’t know for sure how valuable your idea is, you can gain a decent idea of whether or not your idea actually meets a need.
Filling a consumer need is all about finding the right niche.
You don’t want your market to be oversaturated or dominated by a few overwhelming giants, but on the other hand, you don’t want your product to be so obscure that nobody but you will actually want it.
This is a delicate line to tread, and even if you do everything right, you can still fail, but if you take the right steps to ensure that the idea you want to turn into a business has a viable market, the odds of your business succeeding will go up quite a bit.
When looking to find your niche to launch your business, take into account the following tips:
1. Find what you’re passionate about
This one should be obvious.
There’s no point in opening a small business and trying to succeed on your own if you don’t care about what you’re doing.
It’s possible to work hard at something while having zero passion for it, but this will just lead to burnout and likely won’t give you the inspiration you need to persevere when times get tough.
Another given of running a business is that times will get tough.
While making something out of nothing and succeeding yon your own is incredibly rewarding, you’re really setting yourself up for a long uphill climb before you get to enjoy success.
If you’re passionate about what you do, you’ll be able to make that climb, not with ease, but without doubting yourself.
2. Find a need
Polls and focus groups aren’t a perfect solution, but they’re certainly a good start.
You can also carry out your own informal research by perusing Quora to see what people are talking about, or use Google AdWords to identify what people are searching for.
Often, searches such as these can be more fruitful than directly asking people what they want, because the raw data is, to be honest, more trustworthy than asking someone straight up if they would potentially be interested in your product.
3. Scout the competition
Ideally, your niche is such that there’s an open spot in the market for you with untapped potential.
Take, for example, gift-giving service Occasion Station.
They found a need—remembering to send out gifts to extended family or friends, something people struggle to remember—and also found that there was nothing on the market to meet that need.
The result? Customers received an array of never-before-seen, gift-giving options.
For people who simply want a reminder to buy a gift, Occasion Station let’s them know.
For those who don’t have time to buy a gift, Occasion Station will pick out, purchase, package and ship the gift in question. They met a need by giving people new solutions to a previously unidentified problem.
Often, however, you’ll have a bit of competition that you’ll just have to try and outperform.
You can do this by specializing and really focusing in on one specific product.
For a good example of this, look at the Stance sock maker.
They certainly aren’t the first company to make socks, but because they devoted themselves to only making socks rather than trying to become a clothing brand, they were able to tap into a market that very few people were working in.
4. Don’t try to please everybody
In the end, your niche is just that—a niche.
It was never in the cards to please everyone.
As you start your business, you’ll have to be cognizant of the fact that most people probably won’t care about what you offer.
This doesn’t have to be a huge issue.
Just ask racquetball giant Ektelon if they care about the fact that most people don’t know who they are. What matters to them is that racquetball players, you know, the people who actually use the product, know who they are.
To sum up
There’s no perfect formula for starting a business; no way of predetermining success or failure.
Ultimately, you’ll have to put in insane amounts of effort regardless of what path you choose to follow, but if you implement the above tips in your planning stages, your million dollar idea could literally be just that.
What do you think? How was your experience starting your business? Let me know by leaving a comment below.