What's a niche?
Dictionary.com provides a great, twofold definition:"A situation or activity specially suited to a person's interests, abilities, or
"A special area of demand for a product or service."
It's safe to say you will be most successful and fulfilled in business if you provide a
product or service that others want or need, in an area that is "right up your alley."
There are thousands of business opportunities but just because something worked
for someone else, doesn't mean it will work for you. Doing something you love is
undoubtedly your best option.
"But," you say, "what I love is just a hobby. I can't make money from doing that."
Well, chances are you'll be able to figure out a way to turn a profit from it. All it
takes is a little creativity.
Answer these questions to hone in on a business idea that will suit you and
therefore, set you up for success. When answering the questions, don't limit your
answers. Brainstorm. Write down everything that comes to mind, regardless of how
silly, impossible or unprofitable it seems.
- How do you spend your free time?
- What is your dream job?
- When you were young, what did you want to do when you grew up?
- When others need help, what do they ask you to help them with?
- If you didn't have to worry about making an income, how would you spend your
- What would you pay someone else to let you do?
- What are you passionate about?
- What are you good at?
- How do you have fun?
- What do others appreciate in you?
- What brings you fulfillment in life?
- What's your hobby?
- If you could get paid to do anything, what would it be?
- What jobs have you enjoyed in the past?
- What do others say you're good at?
Once you've jotted your answers down, review them and see if you pick up on any
themes. Again, don't write anything off at this point, just group like things together.
Maybe you listed your job as a teacher's assistant (TA) in college as being one you
enjoyed. Perhaps several friends have told you you're really good at explaining
computer problems. These two items would constitute a theme such as teaching,
troubleshooting, finding answers, etc. The theme "name" isn't important; the job
Now look at the your themes. Are there any that stand out above the rest? Any that
really stir up passion and excitement in you? This is your niche in the larvae stage.
All it needs is a little "fleshing out."
Time to get creative. Look at your theme from all angles. Try to figure out a way you
can make money from it. What are others doing with it? Google some keywords to
see what kinds of websites pop up. Ask people around you for ideas. Take
advantage of the creativity of other entrepreneurs and small business owners in
online forums and offline networking groups.
If a second or third theme emerged during your brainstorming session, come up
with ways to integrate them into your primary theme.
Think outside the box but stay true to who you are. The possibilities are endless!
Amy Andrews is the owner of SimplyComplete.com, where businesses &
individuals post their to-dos for free and find virtual assistants to help get their to-dos done!