Tuesday, May 15, 2012

How to research a niche market.




There are a variety of tools available on line to research niche markets. Most of them relate to establishing your niche on line as topics for a blog or on-line shop, but this doesn't necessarily mean that the market and sales in that market will be strong. These tools merely tell the researcher what people like to read about on blogs. That research can lead you in the right direction, but the data regarding whether it translates into sales is not complete. Here are steps to follow to attempt to research your niche market:

1. If you are already marketing to a niche market, your first step to researching that market is to determine if you have chosen the right size niche. Is your niche too large, too small, or just right? 

2. To determine if it's too large, study whether you have trouble keeping up with the number of products/services in your niche? Take a look to see if all of your products are selling and if you need to weed out some and narrow your scope in order to become more efficient.

3. Is your niche too narrow?  You might determine that your niche is too narrow if you feel as if you "have all your eggs in one basket." Are there times when, if your product doesn't sell, you don't bring in the money you need? If so, this might be an indication that your niche is too narrow.

4. Investigate the size of the market. Does your niche market consist of a finite number of customers? If so, you need to either broaden your market or widen you niche. For example, if you are advertising and distributing your product or service only to your small home town, one way to increase the size of your market is to add towns surrounding yours by including them in your advertising and distribution of your products or services.

5. One way to determine if you need to make some changes to your services or products is to gather information from your current customers to determine what they think of the scope of your business. Through a questionnaire or survey, you can determine those aspects of the business your customers might think need to be changed. 

6. If you are considering starting a business in a new niche, a survey or questionnaire is a good way to find out if your product or service is needed. You can do this on-line or through a mailing. For example you could develop a sample product and offer a special on it and see what type of response you receive. This may give you an inkling as to whether your product will be successful or not.

In business, it's always good to continue to evaluate your niche market and to revise it according to the results of your evaluation. In order to keep your business fresh you'll want to keep up with similar businesses.

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