Get a leg up by finding your niche

October 1, 2012 - Tags: Market research Planning Marketing

Part of being an entrepreneur is having the ability to innovate and to adapt to changes in the marketplace, particularly when it comes to demographics. You bring ideas to life by offering new products and services, or by delivering them in new ways. With niche marketing, everything from your design and packaging to your marketing and support services can be tailored to meet the needs of a particular segment that may not have easy access to alternatives.

As with any major undertaking, you'll want to do your research first, and determine which group of people you want to reach, and how you will accomplish that. Consider the following:

  • Is there a group of potential customers with similar wants or needs?
  • Is the market big enough to support my business?
  • Who is my competition, and are they currently serving that same market?
  • Can I adapt my products and services to address the market's needs, and still be profitable?

The best way to learn more about a segment is by talking to the people who belong to it, and finding out firsthand what they want.  Let's say you work in the health care field and have learned that a growing number of people are looking for mobile services, or personalized care inside the home. You might decide to expand your offerings, or start a new business, aimed at meeting a particular set of needs for this niche. If you keep an eye on emerging social trends, or changes in demographics like an aging population, you can get in on the ground floor, or adapt accordingly.

Once you've determined your target market, you can focus on adjusting or developing your marketing plan. You've heard what the market has to say, but now it's your turn to reach out to them. Think about the language you use, and the way you present yourself to them. Do test marketing and seek feedback.

Despite defining your niche, you may find that there are other audiences for your product or service. You don't want to exclude any potential customers, but you may want to market to them in a different way. Your best bet is to start with the most promising segment, and then expand to others as your business grows.

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