Alongside the mechanics of identifying, supporting and entering niche markets, what are the key factors you’ll need to exploit to succeed? Here are some key questions to answer about niche research.
Is there a need, a new opportunity or a customer problem?
Opportunity – a new market has emerged or a new opportunity exists in an existing market and a range of new solutionsare required to satisfy the new demand.
Problem – a group of people (or businesses) share a common problem and need a solution that they can easily adopt.
Need – the niche needs to or needs to find out about something and needs a focussed solution that provides the information they need.
The target group of customers must actually want the solution on offer – not have a need alone. For example, many thousands of people have a debt problem and ‘need’ to get out of debt – but very few actually ‘want’ to take positive action to do something about the situation.
The offer has to be just right; look good, sound good, cost good, seem good, BE good so that your potential customer will ‘want’ it and buy it.
The aim of all your communications, sales messages, emails, product offers, design or benefit statements is to gently take potential customers along the journey from slightly interested to the ultimate result of buying.
Are you trying to Run Before You Can Walk?
This is no joke, if you’re trying to go for a market that’s way outside your knowledge zone and very hard to access – you may find yourself spending a lot of time, money and heartache trying, and trying and trying some more.
You need to set your sights on easier opportunities that make the best use of your limited resources of time, money and effort. Progress will encourage more progress and the more experienced and skilled you become the easier it will be to access more difficult markets without taking so many risks.
You should be able to find markets that have forums, ezines, magazines, books, courses, training events, conferences, seminars, get togethers, stores, membership societies and so on to help with idea development, research, ideas, content and feedback.
Your niche might not have many or all of these but they are a good indication that your target market can be accessed and more importantly that information is available that can be tailored and focussed into specific products and services that provide what the market needs.
A small tight niche is great but are there any customers at all?
Finding a group of like minded customers who have great needs and wants AND MONEY! is a fantastic game to win. To be one of only a few suppliers with a product or service that is right on the button for the needs of the market is great but are there actually enough potential customers to make the market viable?
It’s all very well going niche but not if your product will never make a profit or your sales volumes are too low compared to the time and money spent on site management.
You need to find small focussed markets where you can generate enough leads, enough visitors and enough sales to make it all worthwhile..otherwise you might as well sit and burn a wad of dollar bills!
Can your customers afford your offer?
When considering a niche you need to bear in mind two key aspects around the affordability of your offer.
First up – you need to avoid playing in a market where the potential customers available to you simply can’t afford your offer – or don’t have credit cards.
More importantly you need to strike a balance between the cost of your product, the cost of alternatives or the cost of your customer not getting an easy solution to their needs.
So if your product doesn’t have much direct competition and the problem it solves is costly in terms of time, stress or money – you can afford to charge a much higher price. You also get a good sales USP.
What is the future value?
When you develop your first niche idea and your first product it will pay you very well to think about what your next and your next and your next will be. You’re going to be spending a lot of time and effort developing your first product and market so it makes a whole lot of sense to ensure that you can develop your business into complementary markets or offer complementary products to your customers.
By doing this you’ll ensure that your initial work can be used across more than one market and more than one product meaning each becomes cheaper in terms of resource and costs.
It’s the repeat business that will generate your biggest profits over time so it pays to plan ahead for new offers to your existing customer base as soon as possible.