The confusion of finding your niche in the business world is a feeling that I have experienced. If you read my story you’d know that I founded my own desserts business called K’s Sweet Expressions. Based on my experience of starting a blog and later starting my own business, I’ve decided to offer a few guidelines that will help you to discover your niche in a world where interest, skill and business collide.
3 Steps to Finding Your Niche
Surely you won’t apply for a job that you have no interest in so don’t consider a niche in which you have no interest. The word niche basically screams the idea of finding something special, something that perhaps is even new and therefore full of opportunity. However, what I’m saying is, in an attempt to be unique don’t stretch yourself too thin. You should at least have some knowledge of the market and a justified interest apart from a purely monetary pursuit.
This is easier said than done but consider the following questions:
- What are the things I enjoyed doing, making and exploring before the pressures and time constraints of ‘adulting’?
- How do I occupy my free time?
- What kind of articles and videos do I save on Facebook or to the ‘Watch Later’ tab on Youtube?
- Which pages do I follow on social media?
Put pen to paper, make a list of everything that comes to mind and keep reading below.
Once you have a list of your interests, you need to narrow it down further. For example, if you are interested in sports you will now need to see which of your skills will work best to start a business to provide a product or service in this area. Would you be interested in working with athletes directly, coaching, selling sport related products, writing about sport? You will find that as you are actively thinking about it now, you will start making links that you didn’t think of before.
Allow me to say that essentially every large business started small lest you be daunted by the following illustration.
Image Credit: WetPaint MENA
I love this picture because it demonstrates clearly how the skill of the entrepreneur was used to take their interest in a particular area and start what is now a very successful businesses. It would not have been physically possible for the founder of Uber to run a one man cab service but he was able to spearhead a network and the resources needed to achieve his goal. This out of the box thinking is exactly the edge you will need to have as an entrepreneur.
Also, don’t wait to perfect your skill just start where you are and find ways to improve. Read (A LOT), take courses, ask for advice, offer free sample or services and get honest feedback. Nonetheless, if you find that your initial idea isn’t working only you will know how to navigate along that thin line of knowing if to try harder or follow a new initiative altogether.
This is one of the toughest steps because sometimes although you may have the interest and the skill it may not be a feasible business. So why ‘waste’ time to then be shut down? Personally (you agree to disagree) I believe that while a business ought to be sufficiently profitable it should not first be about profit. You will not fully enjoy something that you are only interested in for the money and you will not be able to efficiently propel your business forward without the necessary skills that are particular to your niche. If you can manage well and have the money to immediately pay for expert help then by all means. However, this is not usually the case. You have to think of a product or service that is necessary and think of the target market? What are people willing to pay for? How much will they be willing to pay for it? Do I a reliable source for the necessary materials? How am I going to fund my business in the beginning? Evidently this aspect can be covered in a post on its own which I may consider writing at some point in the future. For now, focus on what you have read so far and take up the challenge to create your business.
BONUS BITS: Just chill
You know that moment right before an exam when you know you’ve read all you could, studied and did many exercises but somehow you still feel uncertain? This can happen to us even after we have decided on a niche or when we hopelessly find that we can't seem to.
Truthbomb!! For years we’ve had an oven at home that has served us faithfully over the years and truth be told it’s older than I am. However, we affectionately call it ‘Burny’ as it does just that. It works well for meat, however, nobody wants freshly burnt bread. We've recently gotten a new oven and one day I experimented with some cookies and they were really good. At the same time, I had unsuccessfully been trying to think of a side hustle so I pitched the idea to family and friends that I wanted to sell the cookies, this went well and evolved into K’s Sweet Expressions. When people tell me ‘I didn’t know you liked to/could bake.’ My response would be along the lines of ‘Well neither did I, until now I guess.’ The point of the story is that sometimes what we need to do in spite of all the brainstorming and reading is just to chill and the ideas will come.
Comment and tell me how you are discovering your niche or how this article has helped you. Also, be sure to spread the word with aspiring entrepreneurs.