We hear it all the time: if you create a business, make sure you pick a good niche. While I typically heed such advice, I occasionally go astray. This blog is one example of going astray. While I may write interesting content, I hop from covering issues about blogging, to issues about social media, entrepreneurship, and technology news. Bottom line, I am covering a lot of bases. When I launched my new blog, AllFacebook last Friday I quickly realized the benefit of focusing on a niche. By Sunday, I was receiving over 450 unique visitors to the site. For this blog, getting that number of daily visitors took months, and frequently I don’t come close. I have started and been part of many start-up companies. Being part of these companies gave me the opportunity to see the result of picking good and picking bad niches. While focusing on a niche doesn’t necessarily guarantee success, it definitely helps. Once you find the right niche, you will quickly know because customers (or blog visitors) will start checking out your product immediately. Unfulfilled niches are a great market to serve, but also can be challenging to uncover.
One of my better investments that I made was in a site, WoodenModelShips.com. This site focuses strictly on selling wooden model ships. When you are talking about niche, this is the epitome of niche. There is also a fine balance of picking the right sized niche. If you get too niche (e.g. all the people living on your block), you are going to cut off much of your potential revenue. At some point you are going to have to either expand your niche or go create a new business to satisfy yet another target market.
So what are a few good ways of picking the proper niche? Well, start thinking about the groups that you are involved with on a daily basis. Are you part of a church or synagogue? Are you active in your neighborhood? Do you work out at a gym? What hobbies do you have? All these questions are a good place to start. One good example is local technology enthusiasts. I had the good fortune of catering to this group with the Tech Cocktail event that I co-hosted with Frank Gruber and Eric Olson. I’m interested in hearing about your niche experiences. How does your company find niches and what niches do they serve?