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As an aspiring entrepreneur, it can sometimes be tempting to think that all the good business ideas have already been taken. When virtually every industry seems overwhelmed with businesses (especially in the age of e-commerce), it can seem difficult to find a way to stand out from the competition.
In reality, however, there are still plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs to dig a little deeper. By researching niche and underserved needs in their industry of choice, entrepreneurs can develop their own new and highly successful brands.
Turns out, you don’t have to try to serve everyone to build a successful business.
1. Consider Your Own Underserved Interests and Needs
While pursuing your passions is a clichéd starting point for any entrepreneur, it’s especially important when trying to identify more niche needs. By focusing on your own interests, it can be easier to identify areas where your own needs are currently not being met.
Brainstorming a list of your skills, hobbies, interests, and problems that you would like to see solved in your own life can be an invaluable starting point for finding niche opportunities.
Sometimes entrepreneurs can even identify niche business opportunities by combining aspects of different interests. On a smaller scale, this is easily seen on sites like Etsy, where, for example, you’ll find products that combine an individual’s talent for laser-cut wood art with their interest in video games.
Related: 6 steps to turn your passion into a career
2. Evaluate what others in your industry don’t offer
If you already have a particular industry in mind, it can be helpful to conduct competitor research. Don’t just look at what others in your industry are offering – browse the websites of several companies to get a better idea of specific products or services that aren’t usually available.
This stood out during a recent conversation with Ashley Sarnowski, co-founder of Sunnie Hunnies. As she explained, “We found our niche of super soft swimsuits for newborns and toddlers in part because it was an issue that had arisen within our own families. However, what really helped us launch our own product was doing some research and seeing that the type of products we were looking for didn’t really exist in today’s market. that we could offer something unique in a crowded market.
3. Survey the target audience
You can go beyond your own experiences and get ideas for niche needs by surveying other members of your potential target audience. You can start with your family, friends or business associates, or you can go to internet communities and participate in their conversations.
Pay attention to the problems people are having, the products or services they would like to have, or the questions they have. Consider how these pain points and desires relate to your niche and how you could use your skills and knowledge to provide a meaningful solution.
In addition to assessing audience issues and needs, dig deeper to understand their buying behaviors and motivations. By better understanding the personality of your target audience, you will not only be better able to develop an on-point niche product or service. You will also know how to market it effectively.
Related: 5 Steps to Creating Effective Customer Surveys
4. Do Keyword Research
While your own personal experiences or anecdotes from friends and family can help you identify underserved needs, not all niche ideas are created equal. Before jumping into any niche business idea, you should do some keyword research to validate its potential.
According to NerdWallet, “If a keyword has fewer than 500 searches per month, you’re facing an uphill battle in terms of demand. “Ideally, you want between 1,000 and 2,000 searches per month. can test your product without spending money.”
On the other hand, if a keyword has a higher than expected volume of keyword searches, it may not be as niche or underserved as you originally anticipated. Tools like Google Trends can also help you see how interest in a keyword rises and falls over time, or if a particular product or service experiences seasonal fluctuations in demand.
Just because other competitors already exist in your desired sub-niche doesn’t mean you can’t enter that space. Use your initial keyword research as a launching pad to identify what you can offer that is different or better to make a big impact in these smaller markets.
Nestle to find success
Finding the right products or services for the right niche can ultimately make your business much more profitable and successful than if you were trying to target a large audience.
While focusing on a smaller niche means the total potential audience is smaller, brands that focus on a more niche audience often become much more profitable. With less competition and the ability to engage in more targeted marketing, entrepreneurs can drive significant brand loyalty and word-of-mouth growth. By being one of the first to gain a foothold in your niche, you can also dominate SEO.
By striving to work with niche and underserved markets, you create a real win-win scenario for you and your customers.