Having decided on a niche, the next thing is to discover if your niche is viable.
You can do an internet search on the topic to see how many specialised websites come up. You can check out forums to see how much activity is there and what some of the questions are. You can ask friends or colleagues if that is a problem for them or people they know.
However, it’s worth remembering that new niches are popping up all the time. For example, the collection and delivery of used coffee grounds has become a new ‘industry’ of sorts. As people become more aware of the importance, as well as usefulness, of recycling, new ways are being invented.
Used coffee grounds can be a useful addition to gardeners who compost. And to mushroom growers. And many are prepared to pay for it.
So don’t be limited by what others do. Things are changing. Even if your niche doesn’t come up much, don’t be put off. Having said that, it’s important that it makes you some money:) And hopefully, enough, and more, to live off. So it’s got to be something that is needed.
Look for opportunities. Look for new approaches to old problems. Be inventive. Think laterally. Think big. Go with your heart, your feelings.
Conversely, even if your niche is already well covered, you could still do well. For example, there are many, many lunch bars, or delis, or cafes, everywhere there are people who want to eat in the middle of the day. If yours offered exceptional, fast and friendly service as well as fabulous food, where do you think people would go?
Even if your prices were higher than the others, people want to experience quality.
Likewise, there are many well known people in their field who do a terrible job. That tells you there is room for improvement and that the niche is viable.
Discovering if your niche is viable also means looking at the type of customers you want to work with.
The same principles apply to online niches as they do offline niches, but now you may have the whole world as your customer:) That is, unless you are sending products which may be restricted in some countries.
In addition, food products may not do well in the post for more than a couple of days. Or may need to be frozen during delivery. So they may do well to send within your local region, but not internationally.
So you need to ask yourself if there is enough need locally, if that is what you want to do.
Services and digital products don’t suffer the same restrictions. Often these tend to be more educational, such as teaching people how to do whatever you do successfully. People do enjoy learning new skills. It’s very empowering. The idea is to help them in some way.
Help they may not find anywhere else. Or that is not so easily understood as the way you have discovered how to explain it.
The great thing about online niches is that you are helping people 24/7, whether you are on holiday, asleep or on the toilet.
However, the most important aspect of having your own business is that you love doing it. Focus on that first. When that succeeds, you’ll get more ideas. At this stage, you just want to see if your niche is viable.