Understanding Marketing Niches
Swiss Chocolate Market Niche
Local Products; Niche from where you are!
Understanding Marketing Niches
A Niche Market means a specialized market. The niche business provides for the very specific needs of a specific customer. There is a deep selection of one specific product in a niche business. A good example would be a bakery.
The opposite is the Big Box retailer that offers a smattering of nearly every product in their classification. They do not offer a deep selection of any one product. A good example would be Home Depot.
Both of these types of businesses adhere to serving the customer by understanding their demographics and psychographics. Please see http://nmlady.hubpages.com/hub/Keys-to-Effective-Marketing for more information on demographics and psychographics and how you can use this information to create more business.
Niche Marketing is a great method for entrepreneurs Small business can serve a specialized market that the big box stores simply cannot serve. The business will have an exclusive lock on those specific customers. This will make your location a destination for that demographic and psychographic group. You will be their 'go-to' business.
Location, location, and location have always been considered the top three priorities for a bricks and sticks business. The Internet is also a location. So, when you add the Internet into the mix of location you strengthen your ability to reach out to that specific customer.
The business may only be on the Internet. However, a business that is only a bricks and sticks location is getting more problematical. Bricks and sticks need the Internet for sales and marketing.
Let’s take a look at some niche market ideas and then use this information to your benefit!
Sweet Tooth Businesses Like Bakeries and Candy Shops
Are you good at baking? Are you good at making sweets? Do you have a love of chocolate?
These are great start-up businesses. Using your ability to make special candy, cookies, cakes and caramel apples is a great way to begin a business.
The sweets may be sold in a store and or on the Internet. The sweets may also be sold at a Craft Fair or to a local gourmet store. There are many ways to distribute your sweet treasures.
There are health codes to work within but here is a good idea to help you find an approved kitchen.
Good idea #1: Need an approved kitchen? Oh, that can be expensive. You might be lucky enough to live in a big market where there are commercial kitchens that rent time out to individual companies. If not, does the local church cook meals for their day care or grade school? If so, they have passed the health codes. Talk with them about renting out the kitchen during off hours to make your candy or extra tasty cookies. They make extra money and you get a health code approved kitchen!
There are candy shops and bakeries bringing very unique sweets to many markets. Take a look at a Swiss Chocolate Shop in a small neighborhood in Phoenix AZ. This young woman was raised by a Swiss Bakery owning family. She branched out to Swiss Chocolates.
Soda Pop Artisan
Micro Brewers, Soda Pop, Beer, Whiskeys, Wines etc.
Beverage sales are expanding to include very unusual flavors. Do you have an old family recipe that receives raves when you make it? Is your recipe eagerly awaited each Christmas as gifts? Well, dust it off and see if it will make you a business profit.
Take a look at the many craft beers. Beers now come in seasonal flavors (pumpkin beer anyone?) It seems that vodka is in nearly every flavor under the sun. Although, I am not sure that cotton candy vodka flavor sounds appealing, still they are making it now!
Wine making is also a hobby that can become a lucrative business. Do you already have some expertise here? If so, then look into expanding your own brand of wines. There are literally thousands of wines that were made in nearly every flavor combination that are very suitable for the niche market.
There are dozens of heritage wines that may provide a great market niche business. The Amana Colonies in Iowa had a wine tasting room that boggled the mind with their artisan heritage wines. Some of these wines are touted by our forefathers and mothers as great health benefits as well. Could that be a new market for wine: health?
I have a beet wine recipe that is quite delicious It does sound strange. Seriously, it is a big Christmas hit at our house! (Dear liquor control people, I only make a small bit and only serve it to guests for free!)
Limoncello, an Italian lemon liqueur, is not that difficult to make. There are many such liqueurs that the public is now interested in tasting. Just recently I saw an advertisement on TV for a cotton candy flavored vodka; Now, that may be going a bit far afield but someone must be buying it!
Soda is not very difficult to make and does not involve the business in liquor laws. There are many flavors of soda that are no longer made or widely distributed that were very tasty and popular in years past. Recently, at a craft fair, we purchased two glasses of home made Root Beer. The owner was a laid off executive with a great family recipe for root beer. He makes the soda pop himself and currently only sells it at craft fairs. It was delicious!
Here are a couple of easy-peasy recipes for your own home made soda pop:
Make your own cranberry soda pop: http://nmlady.hubpages.com/hub/Holiday-Cranberry-Soda-Pop-Recipe
Make your own sodas:http://nmlady.hubpages.com/hub/Home-Made-Christmas-Gifts-Sodas-and-Pop
Good Idea #2: Make friends with one of the small craft beer producers in your area. Would they let you rent space and time in their location to help defray their starting costs for their brewery?
Take your expertise in the business world to the consulting level. This is especially workable if you know a specific software program.
The cost of software continues to increase as does the cost of re-training staff. This makes your knowledge and flexibility quite attractive to a business. It is worth your time and effort to keep abreast of the newest software applications in your industry.
You can become a consultant in the fields of accounting, inventory, shipping, marketing, or processing expert. You offer the flexibility that many companies can no longer afford.
Use your knowledge of a specific industry and their software to your benefit. Medical software is especially robust right now.
There are whole companies that hire laid off employees to contract out as software experts. You could be the owner of one of those companies or keep it as small as one consultant, you!
Good Idea #3: Attend a couple of business mixers and ask if those owners would like a better billing software program? Operation program? Shipping program? Accounting program? You might already have just what they want!
Home Health Care
Home Health Care is set to grow as the Baby Boomer ages. The Baby Boomer group has carried enormous opportunities for products and service through all their life stages. This group will need a great deal of home health care when the time comes.
Whether it is serving medical needs or providing grocery shopping there are some great business needs in Home Health Care.
Parlay your medical oriented degree or expertise towards meeting the Home Health care industry.
The popular wisdom is that construction is lagging due to the economy. However, green construction is becoming stronger. (https://new.usgbc.org/ )
Major companies are placing a high premium on saving power dollars. They want to learn about implementing solar panels, better insulation, minimizing wattage consumption, and other green technologies. This is a retro-fit construction opportunity.
New buildings are also being constructed to meet the needs of the future. Everything from housing developments to business constructions are using the new green construction methods and technology.
Could you become a rate reduction consultant? Do you understand the different payment scales for the power companies? These consultants analyze a year or more worth of utility bills to determine if the company is on the lowest rate they are eligible to receive. The consultant then helps the business switch to that rate. Often the consultants take a percentage of the savings they find for the business spread out over several years as their pay.
Internet as Your Location
The Internet can bring customers to your business. Here is just a sampling of businesses that are on the Internet:
www.nichemodern.com A site that handcrafts simple and elegant lighting fixtures.
www.vahallan.com A site that began fifteen years ago by making hand painted wallpaper in their garage and today now sells through interior designers and wall paper stores.
www.spoonflower.com A company that will take your original designs and make customized products.
www.etsy.com Not ready to start your own Internet site? Then take a look at etsy.com a site that calls itself “the world’s most vibrant handmade marketplace.” This would be a good place to sell your items.
Internet sites such as amazon.com also sell for individuals. Read up on this at their site.
Got apps? Yes, there is a burgeoning industry of selling phone applications. If you know where all the top restaurants are or where the best gas prices are, you may be a candidate to pull together an application that phone owners will purchase.
Social Media Provider is an excellent small business start-up opportunity. Do you like Facebook and Twitter? Help a business have a presence on Facebook or Twitter. When providing these services do make sure that the business you create for them is easily traceable back to the Facebook page or the Twitter account. For instance, use a code that is only given on the social media sites in order to receive a certain price or other benefit.
Remember, Amazon.com was a just an idea at one time! Facebook seems to be a result of a broken relationship, if you believe the movie!
So, what next?
Follow your dreams and do what you do best. Do take the time to write a business plan and organize all the regulations and rules for the business that you select. This is especially important if you want to begin a food business or any liquor business.
Use this information to analyze what business makes the most sense for you.
Looks like a good book......
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