Filling a Niche
Even though there are so many companies and organizations out there in the world right now, obviously there are still niches for newcomers to fill. Take, for example, the success of social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. Nobody would have thought that people needed these things before they were developed – nobody, that is, except their developers, who perceived both the niche and how to fill it.
Even they, however, probably couldn’t have predicted that Twitter would have been used so extensively in the Arab Spring. However lofty their ambitions may have been in the moment, it’s hard to imagine that they were consciously planning that their micro-blogging service would have found utility as a tool of political revolution! This is not to editorialize – just to say that one of the amazing things about finding a niche for your new company to fit into is that, sometimes, there is more in the niche you’ve found that you can possibly imagine.
What do we mean by “niche?” Well, we primarily meant that you are filling a particular need with the good or service you’re offering. Generally, it’s not the best idea to try to do too many things at once with your company. Even companies we rightly think of as being fairly comprehensive or versatile, such as General Electric or Wal-Mart, either started out occupying a niche (GE) or still do (Wal-Mart – department store products at extreme bargain prices).
Whatever your ambitions – whether you want to develop something nobody has ever seen before or be, say, the best locksmith Coventry has ever seen, it’s worth figuring out how you can supply something that people need but that isn’t being properly supplied to them.
In order to ascertain this, you will need to ascertain the scope of your company. Do you want it to be a local organization, or do you want it to be something broader – national or even global? If you want to stay local, the task of finding out what niche needs filled is a slightly more manageable proposition. If you’ve lived in the place for a long time, you may know exactly what niche needs filled – if you and all your friends wish there was somewhere you could purchase high-quality, organic smoothies, you may have your niche right there.
However, that’s not to say that larger ambitions can’t find their niche. It just takes a bit of ingenuity and carefulness. One thing that’s important to do is not overextend yourself at the beginning of your company’s life. For example, if you’re interested in supplying healthcare technology to hospitals, it might not be worth taking out contracts all over the world at first, unless you know you’re equipped to understand the way that local laws and customs affect healthcare treatment in every country you’re headed in to.
Finding a niche is a very important step for making your entrepreneurial dream into a reality, especially since giving people what they need is one of the most satisfying parts of working in general. Good luck!