Now we love design here at Avélére, but we don’t just want to tell you about that. One of the reasons Guro and I are so proud of Avélére is that we have taken it from a drawing on a sheet of paper to a real life business, and we couldn’t be happier about it! We want other people to experience the same feeling as we do, and that is why you will find us sharing tips for starting your own business on our Avélére blog.
In my opinion, one of the most important things about starting a new business is to find a niche that you can make your own. By doing this you will be able to become an expert in a particular aspect of your field, as well as benefitting from less competition in the beginning which is really crucial in helping to set up the business. So here are my 5 key tips for finding your niche in the market!
#1 – Look in an area that genuinely interests you
Now this one might seem obvious, but people just don’t seem to do this a lot of the time! When you are looking for a niche in a market it really means that you need to understand a lot about that market because you have to find a product in an area where other people have not. Don’t start a shoe company when you really know a hell of a lot more about food. Be specific, use your knowledge and look at your competition. Find out what they don’t do that you can.
Hugh Hefner started a small magazine about something that interested him…
#2 – Ask your friends, family, neighbours… anyone!
The aim of any business is to solve a problem that people are having, so if you are struggling to find that great niche you thought you could then start talking to someone else. The single best way to start a business is to hear people complain and listen. Find out what it is that annoys them, a place where they are loosing money, a product that they are really unhappy with or a problem they have in their life at the moment. Take these problems and find out how to fix them. Don’t listen to people when they say “I have a great business idea for you” because that isn’t what you are after. You are after a problem that no one is solving and no one has even thought to solve. That is your niche.
#3 – Your niche doesn’t have to be unique
When people start looking for a niche they tend to throw away a great idea at the first sign of something similar. Well here is a surprising truth; it is virtually impossible to find something new. It doesn’t mean the idea is worthless if someone else has noticed it, quite the opposite. It shows there is a problem that others have recognised and attempted to solve, what you need to ask yourself is “can I solve the problem better?” The first business Guro and I started is called Designer Base Shapers where we make inserts to strengthen designer handbags. When we found the niche we weren’t the first people there, but the incumbents were doing a very poor job of serving the market. We knew we could offer something better at a competitive price, so that is where we started. You can do the same, just understand the benefit you can bring to your customers that other people don’t.
#4 – Take your niche and then evolved
This step is the most crucial and under rated in starting a business. Once you have found your niche you need to get to work. Make a prototype, test it out, improve it and start selling. Keep things simple. Then start to grow. Order some stock. Improve your website. Move the stock from your house to a warehouse. Continue to grow step by step. And when you have a strong foothold in your niche area look to evolve.
Emerging from a niche is difficult, but it is the real art of running a successful business. Starting your first business is a great adventure and you will learn so much, but as you start to venture further from your niche things become more difficult and you need to carry on learning. Like anything in life, once you have your foot in the door it is just a case of opening it wider, and with your niche base of customers, you will have the support to try and grow your business into something great.
Richard Branson started with record stores, but always looks like he is having fun!
#5 – Have fun and be excited
Enjoy starting your business; it’s the only way. Your passion is what will make you stand out in your niche area. You might have seen Wolf of Wall Street and thought “oh, it looks like I could make some money in finance” or seen big consulting companies and thought you might do that instead. But before you go for it, ask yourself this question: Is that really what you want to be doing on a Sunday night? Because believe me, if you are going to start a business then you sure are going to be doing that work on a Sunday night. And a Friday night. And a Wednesday night. You get the idea.
If you are reading this then chances are you have heard a thousand times that “starting a business is really difficult” and I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be. It’s not something that is so complicated you need to be a genius to do it, but rather something that requires you to keep on taking the next step which at times can be really frustrating. The truth of the matter is that virtually everyone you meet is making it up as they go along too, so why not enjoy the experience and bring some energy into the process whilst you go!
If you are having fun, if you are genuinely excited to be doing what you are doing then no setback is going to stop you. Enjoy yourself, work smart and the success will follow.
So are you ready to go out, find your niche and start a business now? Thought so!
If you enjoyed this article then why not check out my article on how we plan to grow Avélére as a business in the future!