When doing a VIP Day with a new business client recently, she asked the million-dollar question–one that will impact the success of her start-up business at the very core:
How do I choose a niche market that will be right for me?
If you don't get this right, it can cost you a lot of time, sleep, stress and money. Which is why I focus a good deal of time and teaching on this topic with all my clients (even established ones if they are struggling to make a profit).
Aside from finding a market you can be passionate about helping and have the proven ability to help them, there are 6 criteria we look at that must be met in order to have a "viable niche." If any one of them is missing, you must change the niche. (And make sure you understand what a "niche" is in the first place)
First of all, what IS a niche?
Here is a good definition: A niche is a highly focused way that you serve a target market. You are a specialist providing a product or service that focuses on a specific client group’s needs or problems, which cannot or are not addressed in such detail by mainstream providers.
There is a difference between your niche and your target market. Your target market is the specific group of people you work with (e.g. work-at-home moms, new dog owners, female creative freelancers, women over 50 wanting to lose weight, older brides to be, etc.)
Your niche is the service you specialise in offering to your target market. For example, you can offer work-at-home moms coaching and tools to schedule and balance their work tasks with their mom time; you could offer the female creatives branding advice; you may offer virtual behavior training programs for new dog owners. It is the combination of target market and specific service that creates a niche market.
What are the 6 must-have elements of a viable (i.e., profitable) niche?
I could do a whole blog post or article on each of these elements (in fact, I think I will), but for now I'll give a synopsis so you can test your own current niche or niche idea against them.
1. Reachability. You have to be able to find and get in front of them easily and ideally en masse (vs. a needle in a haystack).
2. Known Need. They have to KNOW the have a need or problem that is affecting them (e.g., they can't get enough clients to pay the bills, they can't control their dog, they can't lose weight or keep it off).
3. Want. They actually WANT to change their situation (they're not in complacency mode about it); they're actively seeking a solution.
4. Urgency. They want to change it NOW/YESTERDAY. If they're not at a certain level of urgency with solving it, they are not likely to buy NOW.
5. Time. They are willing and able to devote time and action on working with you to go through the process necessary to have resolution. (Note, if you are selling a one-time, instant-purchase product, this is not applicable to you)
6. Money. They are willing to spend money to get their problem solved, and have SOME means to pay you (many people will say they don't have the money, but if the other criteria are met and they are not bankrupt/destitute, most people have means at their disposal to find the money for what they urgently want/need.)
Keep in mind that finding a viable, profitable, successful niche isn't usually done overnight. It often evolves over time as you start working with a niche and get a feel for what's working and what's not. There's usually an evolution within businesses with their niche. My niche used to be weight loss hypnosis for adults 20-75# overweight who had cycles of weight loss & gain. Several years ago I transitioned into working with female spiritual business owners within the first 2 years of their business who didn't have any/much training in business and were making under $50k/year, teaching them the tools that worked for my business to be successful. I have transitioned into working with more mainstream self-employed, service-based business owners (no brick & mortar) teaching them the practical and psychological needs for a successful business.
I'll be writing more in-depth about each of these 6 elements in the coming weeks, so be on the lookout. If you're not signed up for my RSS feed, get on my newsletter list (where I repost these blogs) by signing up for my free audio "The 3 Keys You Must Master" in the box up at the top right of this blog post, where you'll also learn more about finding and marketing to your ideal niche.
CALL TO ACTION/CHALLENGE:
1. Write down ideas for a niche market you could or currently serve
2. Go down the list of crtical elements for a viable niche and ask yourself if this niche meets each of the 6 criteria
3. If any of the criteria do not seem to be a match for your niche, how can you adjust the niche (e.g., the market segmentation) to make it more viable
4. If you can't find a way to adjust your niche to meet all the criteria, you need to "ditch the niche" and focus on creating a new one that does
To learn more about the practical and psychological aspects of growing YOUR successful business, Schedule a FREE Strategy Session with me to identify what your needs are in each of these areas. Being really good at what service you provide and having a positive mindset is not enough to run a successful business.
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