I’m a big believer in starting a business with a niche audience. Why? It’s easiest to identify who your customers could be and how to market to them.
Most newer entrepreneurs come up with ideas that try to serve a very broad market. Their customers could be anyone. But this lack of a very specific target actually makes marketing more difficult, not easier. By starting with a tightly defined group of potential customers, you can figure out how to get to them.
Take a look at their habits. What YouTube videos do they watch? What social accounts are they following? What websites do they read every day? What organizations are they embers of? What trade shows or events do they attend?
Chances are, many of the important players in the niche know each other, so if you can get in with one of them, you now have a connection to lots of them.
Your niche can be based on demographics, occupation, behaviors, geography or lifestage. Better yet, it should be a combination of these. The more specific you can get, the clearer your marketing plan will become.
The best businesses I’ve invested in started with a niche. Many of you know me as the Sports Card Investor. Talk about a niche. My audience is mainly middle-aged men with a passion for sports who collected cards as a kid and are doing it again, only now they’re interested in making a profit from it as well. Knowing so much about my audience made it easier for me to know what content and products to create and how to reach my audience.
But don’t think that starting with a niche means you are limiting your business’ potential. Facebook started with a niche audience – students at one college. Uber started with a niche – limo drivers and passengers in one city. You see where they are now. Focusing on a specific group can accelerate your start, while still letting you expand in the long run.
What’s your niche?