The importance of niche-ing cannot be emphasized in business. To clarify what niche-ing is, let’s start with a question: How should new products/services be created?
A) Make a novel, untested product/service, then find customers for the product/service
B) Find a group of customers, find one of that group’s unmet needs, then create a product/service to address those unmet needs
Explanation: The development process of the product/service will take time regardless of choice A or B. However, with choice B, the likelihood of having to rework the product/service to make it more closely meet the needs of the target market is lower. Also, with choice B, you have a better idea of the size of the target market. Having a market large enough to grow your business is very important. More on that is below.
A great example of choice B is Girls Auto Clinic. Girls Auto Clinic is a brilliant combination of a female-focused auto repair shop and salon.
Founder Patrice Banks felt what many of us feel when car issues come up:
“I felt like an auto-airhead. I hated all my experiences going in for an oil change, being upsold all the time for an air filter,’ she said. “Any time a dashboard light came on, I panicked.” – Patrice Banks, Girls Auto Clinic Founder
Many people come up with business ideas like how Patrice did: through personal experience. However, what most people fail to consider is that their own experience might be too niche. In other words, the market might be too small. How do you know if your market is too niche? Market research. Market research is a process of analyzing factors such as demographics, purchasing habits, direct and indirect competitors, macro and microeconomics, and other elements. As much art as science, thorough market research is a critical step before moving forward with any concept.
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