There are some markets that are known money makers — big money makers. And you can recognize most of those niches because of the mammoth companies already parked in those spaces, carving out huge chunks of the market for themselves.
Do you really want to compete in the weight loss market against Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, or Nutrisystem?
How are you going to make a dent in the home improvement market against Bob Vila, Lowes or Home Depot?
There are many people whose advice is to find different niches, that you shouldn’t try to compete against those monster companies. And while that’s one way to solve the problem, there’s also another way that keeps you in the competitive space, but also puts you in a class by yourself.
Let me show you what I mean with a great example from the foreign languages market.
Go into any Barnes and Noble or spend a little time online and you’d bet there’s not really any need or desire for yet another book on how to learn Spanish. After all, there’s Spanish in a Flash, Spanish While Driving, Just Enough Spanish, etc. Most people would say to pick another niche, that the “learning spanish” niche is saturated.
But just yesterday I was in a boating store and spotted a book on learning Spanish that speaks directly to a certain group of people: Spanish for Cruisers: Boat Repairs and Maintenance Phrase Book. It’s aimed perfectly at people who are taking their boats down to Mexico!
Sure, any of those other Spanish books would be good to have, but if you’re heading south on your sailboat and see a stack of Spanish books, which one are you probably going to grab? The one that’s written just for you!
And that’s the secret to competing in a niche that others might think is saturated — don’t play chicken with Rosetta Stone or Berlitz, they won’t blink and will steamroll right over the top of you. Instead, go for a segment of the market they’ll never target.
No, the potential market isn’t as big, but you don’t have to stay in the sub-niche. Get good and solid there and then start spreading out with a base of satisfied customers to build on.
Look at the broader niche in which you’d like to market and the start brainstorming sub-niches that aren’t being served. Even if there are products that would be fine for the sub-niche, one that’s laser-focused is going to appear to the target market as if it’s better.
If there’s a big-money niche you’ve had your eye on but didn’t know how to compete with the Big Boys, now you know the secret — don’t compete straight on, make an end-run around them into a sub-niche they’re not exploiting and start serving those people.
What do you think of this technique?