I recently gave a seminar to folks interested in starting their own online business. Most of them were looking for information about shopping carts, search engine optimization, hosting, and tech related issues. I believe they were all stunned when I explained that I would not address any of their questions until they told me their niche.
It felt as though 5 minutes passed by before any one said a word. I could tell that not one person knew their niche. I expected this. In fact most hopeful net entrepreneurs miss this very important first step. Choosing your niche.
It is so easy to get caught up in technical details, marketing, cash-flow charts and such, but what good is stressing about those concerns when no niche is chosen? Its like putting the cart before the horse. Step 1 in creating an online business road map to success is defining your niche.
Websters.com defines a niche as a situation or activity specially suited to a person’s interests, abilities, or nature. It also says a niche is a special area of demand for a product or service. A niche is a target market. It is focused, not broad.
Here are a few examples of niches: golfing for women, hot rods of the 1970s, Greek desserts, and organic herb gardening. Here are examples of topics that are not niches: golf, cars, food or gardening. Do you see how a niche is focused and a topic is broad?
Determining your niche is the first step to producing a successful online business. Your business should be built around 1 niche. Your products or services should provide solutions to problems or concerns within your niche. Your site content should provide information about your niche. Creating an online business around your niche helps you rank better at search engines, positions you as an expert, and creates buzz in your industry.
Here are a few simple questions to help define your niche:
– What are your hobbies?
– What experiences/skills have you collected through school and jobs?
– What is your biggest passion in life?
– What hobby/experience/skill/passion would you enjoy building a business around?
– Have you often been told by people that you should go into business doing a particular thing? For example, sell your famous muffin mix or sell your web design services.
My best advice is to choose a niche that you are passionate about. Building a business takes effort and patience. You will have a much harder time motivating yourself through the difficult periods of business if you dislike your niche. So choose wisely.
Follow your gut and pick the best niche for you. Income will follow where passion and hard work lead. Begin researching your niche industry and then move forward with your plans.
A successful online business road map will look something like this:
– Choose niche.
– Research industry. Find problems people have in that niche.
– Brainstorm a service or product to solve peoples problems, or become an affiliate for an existing product/service.
– Choose a hosting company that provides everything you need in one low cost price. A good hosting company will provide support, easy page building, traffic analysis, search engine optimization, ability to create a newsletter and RSS feed and much more. Check out my site to see who I use for my online business.
– Begin building your site around your niche.