A niche market is simply a narrowed target market. Developing a niche takes some time, research and thought – but the results are worth it. You start by looking at several possibilities and narrowing it down based on several factors such as the fit between your business and the niche, the possibility for growth, and so on.

Below are 4 criteria to think about and explore when trying to choose the ideal niche for your company:

1. the niche “fits” you

* your unique knowledge, gifts and strengths are a match with the niche

* you like to work with these kinds of people and environments

* you can utilize your expertise in this area and become known as an expert

* you have contacts and/or experience with this niche

* you are passionate and knowledgeable about this specific niche’s issues and problems

2. the niche market is the right size

* not too large that it is impossible (in terms of money, time and resources) to market to it

* not too large that the big companies (who have the money, time and resources) have targeted it

* not too small that there is not enough people to justify and sustain your marketing and business efforts

3. there is competition in the niche

* if there is no competition it usually means that there is not enough demand for any products and services, and there doesn’t exist potential for growth in this niche

* you need to be sure that the people in this niche know they have a problem and are actively seeking a solution

* there should be potential for prospective partnerships and collaborations with other businesses serving the same niche market

4. The niche is reachable and receptive

* you have several different ways to connect with prospects and clients in this niche – i.e. media, publications, online and offline strategies, etc.

* you need to make sure there are several ways in which you can be highly visible to the people in this niche, i.e. writing, speaking or networking

* this niche market is open to getting help and spending money on products and services to aid them

Use these 4 points as a guide to helping you choose a particular group of people to offer your products and services to. Remember that when you choose a niche market to focus your marketing on, this doesn’t mean that you can’t work with others who may come to you – via your website, speaking engagements, referrals and so on. All it means is that your efforts and resources are focused on marketing to your niche and getting really well known in your niche.

Many people get panicked at the thought of having to choose one niche only and spending the rest of their business lives catering to them. Don’t forget that marketing is a process that changes and grows as you and your business evolves. You can always refine your niche market as you learn more and there’s nothing stopping you from having multiple businesses that cater to different niche markets!

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