What is a Niche Market?
Niche generally refers to a part or portion of a whole that had remained untapped. In the world of business, it is a frequently used word and seems to be the only thing that everyone is trying so hard to create- a niche.
In business parlance, a Niche is a segment of a goods market or service market that still has room for market entry.
People find their niche within existing industries via research and observation of the different behaviors of significant stakeholders in the market. Operating in a niche is all about specialization, and it plays a crucial role in attracting your customers.
When you operate your business within a niche you have crafted, it is most likely you wouldn’t need the most effective marketing strategies or advertisement plans to drive massive sales. People will, as a matter of necessity, patronize you. This is your business speaking for itself.
It is more comfortable with an E-commerce store. Once you are providing goods or services within the right niche, then you can be sure to scale up pretty fast. This is one trick that most people don’t understand. Instead of getting into an already saturated market because the new wave of trend seems to favor the producers of the product or service. It is wise to find that untapped spot within the industry and start. There is no use producing goods that customers already have or can already access for the same price as yours.
What are the different types of Niches?
No market has reached its peak; there is always a lag that needs attention and several evolution stages that these markets undergo; hence every market will always be at that point where there are still niches, here and there.
A niche can exist as a service or a product.
A product niche refers to particular products that are underproduced or have not been produced in a market before your consideration of it. For instance, in a market where everyone is constrained to wearing shoes throughout the day, then the market should consist of products that can help prevent sweating feet and hence, smelling shoes. Now, that is a niche.
Most people will be too engrossed in the production of shoes because it seems to be a product that everyone will need. But while finding a product niche in that market, you have to ignore the saturated market and find a product within that same industry. One that nobody seems to be thinking about but yet is needed. For instance, in a culture where the shoe is the in-thing, instead of joining the army of shoe producers, you could begin the production of socks to avoid smelly feet, or the creation of shoe fillers or polish, or just anything that is needed to aid people’s experiences when they wear shoes. That way, you have gotten into an untapped market, leveraged on the need of the market, and yet cut out the competition.
You get into the market and creating a product niche for yourself will be you producing goods that although are needed within the market, but do not have a saturated market of producers yet. They could be products that are mostly unavailable within some locations.
A service niche is likened to the product niche just that the product you are offering here is a service. Just like the service niche, it requires that you do serious research and observe.
Finding a service niche will mean you are searching for a lag in the services provided within a market and stepping into it.
For instance, in a market that is saturated with white-collar workers who have short breaks of an hour daily at work, you could help them improve the value of the hour by providing excellent delivery services of their food so they can do other things while their food is being delivered, as against them spending half of their time trying to get to the canteen, queue up and get food. In such a market, most people will consider the production of food, as the big thing but when you can stand outside of yourself, empathize and find that lag that could make things a lot better for your target market, then you have created a niche for yourself and can control your space.
Generally, when you find that part of a market where the customer demand is still unmet, then you have a niche.
How to Find a Niche in Business?
Finding a niche in an industry is a serious business that requires mental work and strategizing. Finding a niche might take you up to weeks, months, or even years to figure out, but once you have it, then the world becomes your stage.
Below is a list of steps to follow through to seamlessly find a viable niche.
- Determine the industry you are getting in to. You cannot find a niche if you have not first decided which industry you want to operate in. Let’s take the education industry as a case study.
- Who is your target market? This is another crucial question to ask. For whom do you intend to produce. Once you had that, then you can move into the next phase of finding your niche. In this case, we’ll choose African parents who are well-read, exposed to the western world, and earn about a million dollars annually.
- Empathize. This is you getting into the shoes of people within your target market. You could conduct user research if you will. Understand what makes them tick, what they wish were in place within the industry you want to operate in, how they will like for this lag to be met. And make all other relevant inquiries. Assuming the result of our research shows that they’ll instead enroll their kids in academies that teach soft skills, art, science, and innovative technology, sports, and other relevant craft but still has a controlled environment like the conventional school.
- Ideate. Now that you have their preferences and necessary data build a system around your feedback.
- Prototype. This is the point where you get to test run the result of your Ideation process. With the different models you have come up with, try reaching people to see what they think about each. Note that only the opinion of your target market should matter.
- Execute. With the feedback from your prototyping, take out the idea that seemed the best, review the plan, and then execute.
- Get in the industry with your idea. Now you have created a niche for yourself that distinguish you from the rest of the crowd, now you do not need to struggle with tight competition, and you can be sure of patronage from loyal customers as the market is still mostly monotonous.
This is how easy it gets to pioneer an idea. Nothing too serious.