When starting a business, it is important to set yourself apart from the competition. The biggest way you can do this is by finding a niche that has underserved or unmet needs. Within this article we will go over what a niche market is, how to identify both your niche and potential client needs as well as how to define your niche market. So let’s get started!
What is Niche Marketing?
Niche marketing is an effective way to establish your brand’s position. But what is it? Niche marketing is focusing on serving a set of people or businesses who are in the market for a product or service you can provide. This group of clients has a specific set of needs that can be met by a targeted product or service that addresses those needs.
How to Find Your Niche
So how do you know what your niche is? The first thing you need to do is to identify your passions, interests and/or skills. These shouldn’t be things you are kind of interested in. It should be something you can see yourself doing for the next few years. Finding an area you are both knowledgeable in and love is the key to identifying your niche.
Ask yourself the following questions to help identify your niche:
- Do you have any hobbies you enjoy?
- Do you have any skills that come naturally to you or that you have developed through your work, such as culinary experience?
- Does anyone in your circle ask you for advice on specific topics?
- How do you approach problem-solving?
- Are there any topics you enjoy learning about?
- Do you have any training or schooling in certain areas?
How to Customize Your Business for Niche Marketing
Now that you have thought about your skills and interests, it is time to figure out if they can be used as a niche within your business. For example, if you have a lot of experience working with animals, you could highlight your ability to shop and deliver from pet stores, shop for specialty pet diets, pet walking or sitting, etc.
Some other ideas of niche marketing can be;
- Running other small errands such as;
- post office
- plant nurseries
- Pet stores
- Dry cleaning
- Coffee/donut shop pick up
- Specialty store delivery;
- Mom and pop stores
- Hardware stores
- International Food stores
- Pet sitting/walking
- House cleaning
- And many more!
Craft Your Business to Meet the Needs of Niche Customers
Once you have nailed down your niche, it is time to identify potential customers’ problems and needs. What problems do your target customers face that they can’t get from the competition and how can your skills or passions help to solve those problems? By offering a specific set of services rather than offering generic services, you benefit by saving money, being more productive, and providing an advantage that can be marketed to a niche audience. This is how you can use your niche to both yours and your potential customers’ benefits!
So what would this look like within the example we used above about pet experience? You could target pet owners as potential customers, partner with local pet stores to promote your business, or highlight local pet shops as stores that you serve for shopping & delivery.
How to Define Your Target Niche Audience
Defining your niche market is just as important as figuring out what your niche is. Remember, you’re not trying to appeal to everyone; you’re trying to appeal to a specific group of people who have a need or want what your small business can fill.
Some things to think about as you define your audience are:
- Customer demographics
- Customer location
- Customer interest & values
Focusing on a small audience allows you to bring in customers who are closely aligned with what you offer. Find your audience and tailor parts of your marketing to them.
Encourage Word of Mouth Referrals with Niche Marketing
Now that you know more about niche marketing, it is time to think about what your business may be able to offer to current and potential customers! Starting small is how you can establish yourself within your market and as your business starts to scale, it’s natural for your niche market to grow. By aligning your services with a small group of clients, you encourage word of mouth and positive reviews which can help spread the word about your business to a larger market. Once you find a client that is a right fit for your business, remember that you can always ask them to refer your business to others that may also benefit from what you specialize in.