This is a great question. It’s not that simple to answer, but I will do my best.
All you read online these days is you need to find niche market in business to be successful online.
If you have been around the online marketing world for a while you will know exactly what i’m talking about.
Maybe online this has some merit to it, because online competition in big markets is huge and has some very big players now with big marketing budgets.
But what about the real world, forget the online affiliate marketing network, what if you had a real business model.
I can only go from my past experience with starting a business that was in a niche market and the difficulty that comes with that.
There is a quote that goes something like this: “Don’t be the first to pioneer a new market , be the second and do it better”
The cost of pioneering a new market will take its toll on any new business.
When we set up New Zealand’s first specialty Strength and Conditioning Equipment business we were it. It was such a niche market and it had no competition. Having no competition also comes with its own complications which I will talk about in another blog post.
Before I go any further lets explain what exactly is a niche market compared to what I will refer to as a mainstream market.
Niche Market Meaning
Can be a niche product or service, meaning a unique product/service that has a market that has not fully formed yet and has very little competition in that market. This can be due to lack of marketing and popularity. Anything can become mainstream if enough money is spent on marketing.
Mainstream Market Meaning
All products are well known to the market and they have a big following and demand. Normally loads of competition.
How did a niche market like Strength and Conditioning go to being such a mainstream product with a massive movement and popularity. The Answer is simple “Crossfit” I think unless you have been living under a rock for the last 10 years you will know of or know someone that is involved in Crossfit.
What Crossfit did was make Strength Training fashionable, they just took the best of all strength sports and nutrition and packaged it, it was genesis. They showed the World the benefits and results you can get from Strength Training, prior to this people thought if you lifted heavy weights you would look like Arnold in about a week. Don’t get me wrong I am not an advocate for Crossfit, I feel they have completely ignored safety of the athlete to turn a dollar.
However this article is about niche businesses and marketing.
Ok, lets go back prior to Crossfit. I have gone off track a little.
The difficulties that come with a market that is small and yet to gain mainstream media attention and demand.
The struggles are real, the cost of trying to develop the market is huge and mostly unsustainable unless you have a multi million dollar marketing budget and time up your sleeve. As a small business you could put in 20 years of struggle to have a big player come in and sweep up your market.
This also depends on what your end goal is as well, that is why the question is hard to answer.
You have to ask yourself, do I have time!
The other side of the coin is most of the time why there is no big players in the market is that there is just no market and they can not see this changing in the foreseeable future.
Look at it like this, so you get 90% of your niche market purchasing products from you (which in incredible) which turns over $100,000 or you get 1% of a multi billion dollar mainstream Market which could amount to millions in turn over.
If I have had my time over again, would I do it again. Would I struggle on in a niche market. Hell yea, it was my passion and getting paid for doing something I loved and was passionate about was just a bonus.
Don’t be weak, the business World will gobble you up and spit you out, be ruthless and do what you love and have a passion for however small the market is. You don’t need to sell something you love, people feel your passion when you talk about it. Passion sells itself.
I hope this helps. The bottom line is follow your heart. I don’t understand how people can set up a business in a market that have no interest in. The whole time I had my business, in my eyes I was changing the World one customer at a time.
If you are interested in following your dream and getting your business idea underway the best way to start is by getting yourself online and getting your product or service in front of your market. Check out my blog post on How To Get Your Business Online in NZ