Entrepreneurship University
College of Internet Marketing (CIM)

Niche Marketing


7 Steps to Defining Your Niche Market
Excerpt fom Entrepreneur Magazine

In their book, Start Your Own Business, the staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc. guides you through the critical steps to starting a business, then supports you in surviving the first three years as a business owner. In this edited excerpt, the authors explain how you can find the right niche for your entrepreneurial needs.

You’ve come up with a great idea for a business, but you’re not ready to roll yet. Before you go any further, the next step is figuring out just who your market is.

There are two basic markets you can sell to: consumer and business. These divisions are fairly obvious. For example, if you’re selling women’s clothing from a retail store, your target market is consumers; if you’re selling office supplies, your target market is businesses (this is referred to as “B2B” sales).

In some cases – for example, if you run a printing business – you may be marketing to both businesses and individuals. No business – particularly a small one – can be all things to all people. The more narrowly you can define your target market, the better. This process is known as creating a niche and is key to success for even the biggest companies.

Walmart and Tiffany are both retailers, but they have very different niches: Walmart caters to bargain-minded shoppers, while Tiffany appeals to upscale jewelry consumers.

“Many people talk about ‘finding’ a niche as if it were something under a rock or at the end of the rainbow, ready-made. That’s nonsense,” says Lynda Falkenstein, author of Nichecraft: Using Your Specialness to Focus Your Business, Corner Your Market and Make Customers Seek You Out.

Good niches don’t just fall into your lap; they must be carefully crafted. Rather than creating a niche, many entrepreneurs make the mistake of falling into the “all over the map” trap, claiming they can do many things and be good at all of them. These people quickly learn a tough lesson, Falkenstein warns: “Smaller is bigger in business, and smaller is not all over the map; it’s highly focused.” Creating a good niche, Falkenstein advises, involves following a seven-step process: Read more …

Wishing you success,

John B. Vinturella, Ph.D.

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