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How To Start And Run An Online Business

Article: 02. Now That You Have Decided To Start An Online Business, Now What? You Need A Niche Of Course!

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The fact that you are reading this article suggests you already possess a very important quality necessary in starting an online business, an Interest or desire. Better yet would be a passion!

Now lets turn that interest to focus on your choosing the right business to start. I won't be able to give you the exact business that is just right for you because what is right for you most likely is not what is right for me or someone else. I can however lead you through a process that will help you to decide which business is just right for you.

The first thing to consider is what is the niche your business will fit in? I say niche because Sam Walton has already created Walmart. Walmart sells everything or as nearly to everything a single business can do. No I chose niche because you as an individual (sole proprietor) or a couple (mom and pop) just can't spread yourself out that far. You need to focus.

I say you need to focus for several reasons. The most important is the one I just made above, but just is important is the marketing of your business. To market everything for everyone is a multi billion dollar operation. Just consider Walmart, Target, Sears etc. Since we are single individuals or a mom and pop business we have no choice but to focus because we only have enough resources and personal energy to market a niche.

When you select your niche it must be as unique as you can make it.  This doesn't mean you have to invent something completely new, but it does mean that there has to be some aspect of your product or service that sets it apart from the competition.  This is easy if you go for a narrow niche, rather than a broad niche or the mass, market.  Don't try to be all things to all people.  You'll only end up being too little to too many.

For example do a google search for "cooking." That search returned 220,000,000 results. Yes 220 million pages on the internet have "cooking" contained in them.  Does that mean all those pages would be your competition if you went after the "cooking" market? No, of course not but I would bet it is in the tens of thousands.

So you would have to narrow your niche down a bit. Lets take the sub category of recipe and do that google search again. I searched on "cooking cookies" which turned up 554,000 pages. Here again, this niche is still far to broad for us one or two person businesses. We will need to narrow our niche a further.

Next I tried "cooking cookies homemade" which returned 318,000. Let's see this is definitely better than the 220 million pages we began with when researching the top of this category. This is still a bit too broad so I am going to try and take one more shot at narrowing this niche down.

I then did a google search on "cooking cookies homemade low sugar" and it resulted in 216,000 returns. That is better but still is probably too broad a niche for our business. Let's see if we can narrow this niche even more.

I then tried by adding a unique type of cookie such as a search for "cookies homemade low sugar birthday" which returned 106,000. Or similarly I tried "cookies homemade low sugar birthday chocolate." This resulted in 64,400 returns. Now we are cooking, to coin a phrase.

At first thought this may seem still to be a daunting amount of web pages. But you need to understand that these are all pages regardless of each web sites purpose. Most, if not nearly all, will most like be people discussing the topic or those selling or providing recipes or selling books (Amazon.com has this covered pretty well) and not a competitor. Or at least a direct competitor. Most of these that are in showing up as selling a "homemade low sugar cookie" are also trying to sell cakes, pies, breads, scones, candies and most any other product that can be made from a recipe. These businesses will not be your direct competitor. The business that sells only "homemade low sugar cookies" will be your competitor. I did not find any of these in the top 25 google search results!

That is probably about as narrow as we can get considering that this is a world wide (english speaking) result.

When you exploit a niche you want to ensure you are providing a want and not a need. People really need only a few things such as air, water, food, family etc. But they want a lot of things. You name it, from culinary specialties to high end shoes, purses and watches. People want a lot of things. That is where you need to focus.

Ok you now know why it is absolutely essential that when you start your business it must be a business within a niche. The narrower you can make that niche the better. This article was to show you this importance, but was not intended to get you to start your business specifically in the "cooking recipe cookies homemade low sugar" niche.

In future articles I will discuss some methods for how you can select the niche that is best for you.But first in the next article I will give you a list of possible business that you can start so you can be thinking about some of the possibilities.

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