5 Keys to finding your Niche in a Market: Tips for Entrepreneurs

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...

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!

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!

The 5 Keys to Creating an Attractive Boutique Display

Here at Avélére we place a lot of emphasis on creating beautiful displays in people’s homes, but we also know what makes your store tick. The way you present what you sell is often the difference between success and failure, and with a few simple rules you can make sure to tick all of the customers boxes.

 

#1 – Be Bold with Colours, Shapes and Lighting

Customers eyes aren’t attracted to monochromatic displays, so make sure to use some bright and bold colours to make your display stand out. Contrasting red against black or white can work wonders, as does grouping 2-3 colours together. Combine the colours with bold shapes too and create something customers can see from a distance. Once you have your colours and shapes in order then get the lights out, the brighter the better. Focus on the angles you use to avoid shadows, which can make the display look poorly planned. A good tip is to use lights to highlight focal points rather than hang them from directly above, as this emphasises the points you are after and helps to avoid those pesky shadows.

 

#2 – Update Your Displays often and Keep it Seasonal

Don’t let your customers get bored with your displays, try to surprise them by changing things around at least every month. New stock often sells the quickest, so look to put it in a prominent place, and once you get more new stock in then switch the positions around. Giving your store a seasonal theme can also help to show your customers that you care about more than just sales. Hearts for Valentine’s Day, eggs for Easter and brooms for Halloween don’t cost the earth but might just give your customers the welcome feeling they need to make a purchase.

Harrods Seasonal Window Display

A Harrods Seasonal Window Display

 

#3 – Tell a Story

Try to match your boutiques display with something relevant to your brand or store, and find a way to tell a story. Whether you try to re-create Cinderella with a ball theme and a glass slipper or want to try something simpler like a walk in the park, a story gets your customers more engaged with your products and makes them more hands on. The Harvard Business Review reports that customers spent on average 43% more after handling a product, so get people involved with your story and get tactile!

 

#4 – Put Price Tags on EVERYTHING

No-one likes to ask how much something costs, so don’t make them! Make sure that you have price tags on every single item in your store and try to make them easy to find. A great idea for smaller stores is to even price the display pieces themselves. You will be surprised how often people are interested in buying store furniture for their homes, after all, who said boutiques are the only places where people can show off their clothes?

 

#5 – Keep it Simple

Don’t clutter your windows and don’t clutter your displays. Everyone is familiar with the saying “quality over quantity”, and this applies to your boutique. Customers associate a product that demands its own space with quality, whilst a bunch of products thrown together in a small space screams of something that you aren’t proud of. Think of a Louis Vuitton or Chanel store, each and every one of their items is displayed separately to suggest they have the quality to stand-alone. These tactics aren’t just for the big brands though, try them in your boutique and see the difference it makes!

Louis Vuitton Keeping it Simple

Louis Vuitton Keeping it Simple

So there you have it, the 5 Keys to Creating Attractive Boutique displays. If you enjoyed this article then check out our 9 Reasons Why and Open Plan Wardrobe will Improve your Life!

Nigel on Growing a Successful Business

I think it is time that we told you a bit more about ourselves here at Avélére, about what we stand for and what we aim to achieve.

So, here goes!

I am Nigel Westwood, Co-Founder of Avélére. I spend about 16 hours a day thinking about how to grow Avélére into a brilliant, creative place that empowers people to create beautiful things. I have been working in the creative industry for about a year now and there are still so many things I need to learn.

“Whatever you hear about banking…running a small business is 100 times more challenging”

My background is rather different from where I am right now, in business and finance. I hold a Degree in Business Administration and used to work in finance before changing direction and trying to create something for myself. And let me tell you, whatever you hear about banking or city work, running a small business is 100 times more challenging!

“I would deliver all of our products myself if I could”

The challenges of growing Avélére change every day, and that is something I really love. Every time one of our fantastic customers buy from us I get excited, I want to know what they think about the products we are creating, I want to go and meet them and ask, honestly, I would deliver all of our products myself if I could, just to hear what they think about us. And this is the essence of small business. I live and breathe Avélére. Every up and every down with the company I feel too.

I believe many people don’t really understand the benefits of working with a small business. We often find that people prefer to go with the company who has 100 staff or has a huge factory instead of working with the small guys, and this is something I just can’t understand. When you work with a small company you are getting direct access to its soul. Instead of dealing with someone on an hourly rate who just wants to do their job, you are getting someone who has put their heart into growing, developing and creating something out of nothing, and I just don’t believe you can compete with that.

“I want us to keep giving people the coolest, weirdest and most beautiful display products we can”

My dream is to grow Avélére. I want us to keep giving people the coolest, weirdest and most beautiful display products we can. It’s not about making sales or money, sure, as a company we need to do this, but Avélére is really about more. It is about showing who we are as an individual, being open with the world and wanting to put ourselves in the spotlight. But above everything else Avélére is about asking why? Why do we do things the way we do? Why can’t we do things this way? Why is that the norm? Why not something else? And this is what I want people to buy into. The concept of why.

So if you are someone who is thinking about starting their own business, maybe you already run one, or maybe you just came here to buy a beautiful display piece, whatever the case, when you do it make sure to these two things. One, pour your heart into what you do and really mean it, give 100%. Two, ask why? Challenge what people expect and keep trying to come up with something different and better. When we do this, anything is possible.

And there you have it, what I want from Avélére.