Niches are a small, targeted group of the population who spend a lot of time together. Successful businesses choose these small niches (also called "target markets") to sell to. The smaller the niche, the greater likelihood of success.

1· Choose a niche with a lot of influence: children influence each other and their parents. Babies are very influential even though they can't talk.

2· Choose a niche with money to spend: Although children do not earn money, they have money to spend - their parents' money! Retired people are another group that has money to spend. People who have just made a major purchase (like their first home, for example) do not have nearly as much money to spend.

3· Choose a niche that spends time with each other: marketing to hermits probably won't help your business. But marketing to soccer moms will... soccer moms hang out with other soccer moms while their children are playing on the field.

4· Choose a niche that you understand well: you'll be more likely to identify with that niche if you do. Knowing your clientele very well will help in your marketing efforts.

5· Choose a niche that you're excited about: there's no use in selling products to babies if you don't like babies... even if they are a lucrative niche. People will detect your disdain and do business elsewhere.

Now it's time to start identifying your niche. You'll probably want a pen and paper for this task.

1. Write down several niches that you belong to. Some day you might want to start a business for someone in a different niche than you belong to, but this is a good place to start. Here are some questions to help you get started:

--> What is my gender, age, and ethnic background?
--> Am I a homeowner or do I rent?
--> Do I like to travel?
--> What is my average income?
--> Do I have children? What are their ages?
--> What hobbies to do I have?

It isn't unusual to have a specific niche of (for example) white, married businessmen, ages 29-45, with an average income of $45000 who own their own homes and have 1 child. That's a very specific niche!

2. Now the task gets harder : narrow your niche. Trust us on this one... narrow it further. It is very unlikely that you will lose out because of a narrow niche and most people find that the narrower their niche, the better! How can you narrow it? If you have not specified a gender, be bold and market just to one gender. (Female auto mechanics, for example, is a fantastic niche with a lot of potential... don't think that just because there aren't very many female auto mechanics you're going to limit your business. You will likely sell more products because you advertise only to female auto mechanics!). ;-)

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