In today’s fierce, ever-growing marketing industry, online store owners need to narrow their business ideas to a niche market in order to stay competitive. Working a marketing strategy around business ideas that don’t focus on a small target audience will quickly eat up your budget and give competitors more of an edge.
The experts at Entrepreneur.com also support the idea that online store owners should narrow business ideas to a niche market.
“No business — particularly a small one — can be all things to all people. The more narrowly you can define your target market, the better. This process is known as creating a niche and is key to success for even the biggest companies.“
So, what should you do to help narrow your business ideas to a niche market?
First, find a business idea that’s based on your passions and interests. And then you should narrow down that business idea to a niche market.
What is Niche Marketing?
According to businessdictionary.com, niche marketing involves “concentrating all marketing efforts on a small but specific and well-defined segment of the population. Niches do not ‘exist’ but are ‘created’ by identifying needs, wants, and requirements that are being addressed poorly or not at all by other firms, and developing and delivering goods or services to satisfy them. As a strategy, niche marketing is aimed at being a big fish in a small pond instead of being a small fish in a big pond. Also called micromarketing.”
So basically, finding a niche market is finding a subset of your target market. It’s a specific group of people who have specific needs, taken from your target audience. A product that targets a niche market is a highly specialized one and it comes along with features that satisfy a specific market need. A good niche market is that which gives you a crystal-clear picture of who your ideal customer is, what they need, and how to deliver to them while being profitable for your online store.
For example of clear niche marketing would be the footwear industry. Obviously, shoes are an everyday need that everyone takes part in so the footwear market is huge. You can find target audiences in footwear for men, footwear for women and footwear for kids. However, these groups can be further broken down into more specialized distinctions. There are special shoes for professionals, for example. But don’t stop there! There are medical professionals, construction professionals, sports professionals, and more. There are multiple styles of shoes to fit many layers of niche marketing. Rather than targeting shoes in general, an online store owner looking for a niche market would want to focus on a niche like ‘military shoes’ or ‘restaurant no-slep shoes’. Doing so would help them market to a very specific set of people, which would improve his chances of success.
The best part about serving a niche market is that it –
- Requires fewer resources
- Offers reduced competition
- Increases odds for success
- Saves your marketing budget
If you’re able to narrow your business ideas to a niche market, you can ensure success for the long term.
How to Narrow Business Ideas to a Niche Market
In a specific niche, it’s easier to showcase and establish your expertise, earning better a following and customer loyalty. If you’re ready to focus on an ‘incredibly specific audience’ (rather than) a larger one, below are some tips that will help you narrow your business idea to a niche market.
1. Develop Your Idea: Before you jump into business marketing ideas, you must first develop your general business focus. This seems commonsensical but you’d be surprised at how many business owners, especially internet store owners, who are trying to get away with the ‘general store’ concept. They’ll offer a bit of this and a bit of that… an idea which can’t be narrowed to a specific audience. So first, think of your knowledge base, passions, hobbies and interests… and narrow your business focus to one type of product offering. Doing so will help you carve out your brand and open the doors to more successful marketing.
2. Brainstorm an Audience: It’s just impossible to please everyone, right? So you need to brainstorm your target audience and then shave it down, several times, if possible. What should this audience be like? If you’ve chosen an industry around your passions, the audience that you end up with may be comprised of people you yourself would like to hang-out with. If your audience is a group of people you would gravitate toward, it will help you fell passionate enough about your business to carry on through hard times and make it long term.
3. Identify the Ideal Customer: Now, you have to take a microscopic look at your audience and find out what an ideal customer for your business looks like. Research and customer profiling will help you develop the initial audience while extras like psycho-graphic breakdowns should help you narrow your business ideas down even more. But first cover the basics to create a clear picture and list out all the key traits and qualities (age, education, occupation, location, income, marital status, buying behavior etc.) that your ideal customer carries.
4. Understand Their Problems: Once you’ve found your ideal customer, try to make a list of all the problems that they are struggling with. Then position yourself as an expert in the field and tackle these problems by creating quality content to educate and interest your niche market. Understanding their problems will help you choose products wisely, market effectively and bring quality traffic to your online store. Follow tips from business experts like Rosalind Gardener, who provide line-ups of the best niche marketing research sites.
5. Research the Most Profitable Problems: What’s next? Well, it’s crucial to understand that all the problems that you have listed may not offer equal profit potential. Run the numbers. It will help your overall profit and long-term success if you can line-up your passions, interests and knowledge base with the issues and problems that carry the highest earning potential.
Once you’ve narrowed your business idea to a niche market, you’ll be working with the fastest way to achieve business growth, earning a solid online reputation and credibility along the way.
Targeting a larger market may seem like common sense but confusing these ideas will be detrimental to the success of your online store. Marketing to more people will not bring in more customers or generate more sales for your business. A larger market spreads limited resources over a larger area and equates to tougher competition with the big dogs.
Do you have more questions about how to Narrow Business Ideas to a Niche Market? We’d be happy to help if you want to post your thoughts to the comment section below!
Inspired by her love of travel, Susan is a passionate supporter of eCommerce software and the idea that people should own their own internet business (so they can work from anywhere in the world). Though she currently resides in California, she is often found blogging from random beaches and teaching her kindergartner the delightful difference between ‘hola’ and ‘ciao’.
With a strong past in product evaluation, educational content, and eCommerce sales, Susan is serious about helping online merchants succeed in their goals. She loves meeting other independent business owners on the road and hopes to run into you one day… maybe in the hammock next to her!