Finding your Niche
No matter what type of business you are interested in starting, the odds are good that someone, or many someone’s, have already attempted what you are trying to do. If you try to sell too many things, targeted for too many people, you are going to be competing against most of the online retailers that have existed far longer than your new business. What is an entrepreneur to do? You need to work on finding your niche.
One of the first things you need to do before deciding on your domain name, choosing a hosting account, or any other point of planning for your business is to carefully pick the niche audience you plan to target. The more narrow, and focused your choice, the better you can target this audience, and the less competitors for their attention and business exist.
The quickest way to understand where your company will stand in relation to other companies as far as strengths and weaknesses is to perform a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis.
Make sure you’re honest about each section. You may have disappointing or even embarrassing deficiencies in relation to other companies but be honest—it’s the only way to effectively map where you want your company to go.
After completing your first SWOT, take special note of your competitors weaknesses, and think about what you can do excel in these areas. As a new business, you will have trouble competing on things established companies are doing well, so make their weaknesses your strengths while working on meeting or exceeding their strengths as well over time.
And know fact about consumers is that they shop where it’s convenient for them. What this means in today’s society is that year after year, more people are doing all of their shopping online. If you are selling any kind of physical products to consumers, you need an online store to make shopping for your product, easy, fast, and convenient.
Big hint: Find out a way to offer free shipping. Free shipping is huge to many consumers in fact, it is a more effective value proposition than simply lowering the price by even three times the shipping cost. If you can’t afford free shipping on every product there are a few things you can do. If your product is significantly lower in price than your competitors you can raise them enough to allow shipping. This is effective if your competitors do not offer free shipping. Your other option is to provide shipping for certain specials or special events, like holidays.
These are only a few tips how to try and find a niche for your company. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks.