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Researching and Discovering Niche Business Ideas

written by: nataliajones•edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom•updated: 8/3/2010

If you are thinking of starting a business chances are you have already been told that you should start looking for your niche - but what exactly does this mean and how do you go about it? This article answers these questions and provides a few niche business ideas to get you started.

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    Are Niche Markets Really Better?

    photo 14817 20100418 (1) Once upon a time the General Store ruled the world. This business catered to everyone and tried to provide everything under the sun. As time passed, savvy business people started to move away from this type of thinking on the premise that profit margins can be increase by specializing in one type of product or service. Niche business ideas became more popular because entrepreneurs realized that they could streamline several aspects of their business by narrowing their focus. They could capitalize on savings from bulk-buying one type of products, they save on marketing because they target a smaller segment and they can then learn a lot more about that segment because they have less need to spread their attention around.

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    Have You Found Your Niche?

    The benefits of niche business ideas abound, but despite the surge in popularity of this type of business model there is still some confusion about how to find a niche market.

    Brainstorm Ideas

    You have to start somewhere so the best place to push off your search for a popular niche market is to think about what excites you. After all, a niche could be hugely popular but if you are not particularly interested in it or you have no experience in the field you can hardly expect to start a business in that area. Take a moment to jot down everything that interests you in one word answers or short phrases. This will prevent you from trying to analyze during the brainstorming stage. Simply get your business ideas down on paper and then you can move on to the next stage.

    Conduct Keyword Analysis

    This is when you plug your ideas into an online search such as Google Insights. This tool is completely free and it helps to show trends associated with the keyword you typed into the search bar. From the numbers and associated search terms you can tell if the term is trending upward or downward or if there is comparatively little interest in it at all. It is also possible to localize your search to a specific region by plugging in your area as a search refinement.

    Find Your Competitors

    Once you have settled on a narrower list of possible business ideas you can then find competing businesses. If too many people are already offering the service in your area you might want to think of something else.

    Define Your Target Market

    The final stage of settling on a niche market is to write a character sketch of your ideal customer. This helps you to create marketing campaigns that reach the potential buyer directly and improves your chance of success.

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    Ideas to Try

    Based on the steps provided above you can find a niche that is right for you, but the following are just a few examples of niche markets that have been popular in the past.

    Organic Beauty Products

    Beauty products make profits even in a down economy because they are an inexpensive way to get that "feel good" feeling. Since every aspect of life is now environmentally friendly or heading in that direction, beauty products that use only natural products and that don't create too much waste are definitely a developed niche market. Which leads to the next idea on the list...

    Green Products and Services

    Any product or service that offers a way for a consumer to substitute a waste-producing practice with one that is better for the environment will get the attention of people who are green-conscious, and let's face it, that's almost everyone.

    Fitness and Weight Loss

    Health is always high on the agenda and this is a huge niche market. It can include sub-areas such as diet products, gym equipment, training sessions or even exercise apparel.

    Electronic Gadgets

    The need for instant information and convenience has seen the rise of the mobile industry, electronic readers such as the Amazon Kindle and several other handheld electronic devices. Creating applications for these gadgets or even add-on features accounts for a huge niche within this niche.

    Finding a niche market is not difficult, but it does take a lot of planning and consideration to get it right.

    Image: FloatingLemons /

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