3 Step Process for Choosing your Business Niche

Choosing a business niche 3 step process

Choosing a business niche and deciding where to specialise when it comes to starting your blog can be daunting. You will agree with me when I say it can at times be way too overwhelming when you’ve got about 10 options before you and not knowing which path to take.

I hear you. I’ve been there. Heck, I’ve even changed my niche a couple of times and adapted my business while I went along.

Here’s the thing:

This one little decision could determine whether you make sales, your income, and ultimately your happiness levels. So it’s super important to consider a few factors before launching your business or blog (or both!)

Guess what?

There is no need to go through this mental breakdown every day. By going through the steps in this article and answering them (honestly!), you can very well be on your path to business-boss-dom TODAY!

Choosing a Business Niche Step by Step Process

Step 1: List everything you are REALLY good at

This might seem obvious, but it’s really important. Pull out a paper and pen and write down every single thing you think you are really good at.

I don’t mean just random things you are good at, but things that you love to do and can see yourself doing all day long each day for the next 10 years.

To make this exercise a little easier, think of the following questions:

  • What do my friends often ask for my help in? (err… I promise this is not some clickbaity Facebook game ;))
  • What projects did you enjoy the most while in school (arts? accounting classes? being the class monitor? (hey, nobody is judging you))
  • What do you enjoying doing (and already do) when you are free (just for fun)?

These questions are merely pointers to help those juices get flowing. Feel free to pace out this activity over a couple of days or a even a week. Make a note on your phone and jot down items as they flash in your mind (at least my mind seems to be one which gives me ideas when it feels like and not when I’m asking it to – I’ve made best friends with the Notes app on my phone).

To take this step to the next level, ask a close confidante who knows you deeply and has known you for a long time about what they think you are naturally good.

You could also just reach out to them double check your ideas with them (“Hey sis, do you think I take good photos of people” (aspiring portrait photographer?) “Hey do you think I’m great at make up?? (make up artist or blogger in the running?))

But there’s a catch. This person you’re consulting should really be a close confidante who actually really knows you well (not your fake best friend) (or your frenemy mom friend who would secretly love to see you make a fool of yourself) – those sorts should any way be purged from your life and of course best not consulted for this task.

It’s also completely okay to not ask anybody anything at this step. Trust your own gut – it’s the best confidante out there (well, except on days when it decides to rat you out with its loud and embarrassing grumbles).

Choosing a Business Niche Step by Step Process

Step 2: Choose a skillset which gives you a competitive advantage in your niche (i.e. you are better than the average Jill)

By now you might be looking at a list which has a number of things like – photography, cooking, art, design, writing, inspiring others, teaching – a few things which may have made it to your list, eh?

In Step 2, you need to consider each of those in detail and assess which one of these gives you a competitive advantage.

Step 2 has two components. One, selecting ONE skillset to start your business with. Second, selecting the skillset which gives you maximum competitive advantage.

Competitive Advantage is basically an attribute or quality which you possess which will allow you to outperform your competitors (and yes, there will be competitors at some point if not today).

It could be anything.

Let’s take an example. Say you’ve selected cooking, photography and make up as your main skillsets that you’re REALLY good at in Step 1. You love cooking (and do so three times a day any way for your family – you love getting creative with your dishes!). You have noticed you love snapping up pictures of your dishes with your iPhone and sharing with family & friends (and making them jealous (and hungry)). You do have a DSLR from your college days but you rarely pull it out because hey, your iPhone does the job because you have a lovely natural lit kitchen & plenty of kitchen tools and props (you’re not a college student living on ramen noodles).

In the scenario above, your competitive advantage may lie in cooking because you already have most of the tools needed, a lovely kitchen with natural light, tons of props from your own kitchen (so you can quickly whip up content related to your niche without having to invest any thing extra compared to your competitors (who might have to still go and buy those pretty pots, kitchen cloths, wooden spatulas and what not)).

The situation may be different if you were a college student wanting to start a business from your dorm room, living on ramen noodles, had a DSLR and were into make up.

Your business niche needs to be something that not only are you very good at, but also on the average better than most other people. It should be easier for you to do what that business requires than your competitors.

Now let’s move on to Step 3.

Choosing a Business Niche Step by Step Process

Step 3: Choose offerings within that business niche which are in demand 

Last but very important step. Read on…

Even after selecting the skillset you wish to focus on, you need to do some market research and determine what are your offerings going to be. That is, what products or services are you going to be offering to your customers.

Yes we have seen many examples of people where their blog or Instagram handle just “took off” and then they monetised it. BUT if you are looking to start a business specifically, then it’s best to have a business plan.

Here’s the thing.

It’s really not that difficult or complicated to have a simple business plan.

First, google a little (read: a LOT) about the skillset and corresponding industry you’ve selected.

Second, make a list of all the ways in which people are earning an income – i.e. a list of the services and products on offer.

Third, select from the list above 2-3 things you think you can start offering from Day 1 of your business.

Let’s take the cooking example we have been cooking (see what I did there? ;) Please don’t leave my blog?). After doing some market research, we see that some of the offerings are – blogging (and monetising through affiliate links & sponsorships), recipe development for food companies, content creation for food blogs & restaurants.

Why is it important to select offerings in your business niche before creating your blog, writing content, making social profiles?

Because to be able to effectively attract and retain the right audience, you need to be writing and creating for them. And to do that, you need to know who your audience is. And yes, to do that, you need to know what problem you’re solving and for whom (your offering will always be solving somebody’s problem).

To summarise:

Step 1: List everything you are REALLY good at

Step 2: Choose a skillset which gives you a competitive advantage in your niche (i.e. you are better than the average Jill)

Step 3: Choose offerings within that business niche which are in demand 

Also, know, that you can and you will always tweak your offerings as you go along. So don’t stress too much over it – just start (that’s the most important thing!).

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Choosing a business niche 3 step process

What do you think?