Many commercial markets are already over-saturated with supplies and service providers. When starting your small business, take the time to identify an under-served niche market — that is, a community or category of shoppers whose needs may go unfulfilled. There are numerous ways to identify under-served niches. First and foremost, you need to have the skill-set to take advantage of the opportunity. Don’t go looking for niches for whom you can’t provide value. For instance, Japantown may be under-served for a holistic chiropractor. You may be the best holistic chiropractor in your city, but if you don’t speak Japanese, this niche isn’t for you.
Differences in culture are often more subtle than language alone. Cultural differences include things such as physical proximity when speaking, eye contact, gender roles, and whether family members jointly participate in important decisions. As a professional — especially one handling sensitive and emotional information (such as a doctor or lawyer) — it can be challenging to juggle the differing psycho-social dynamics of various cultures.
Let’s say you’re a financial advisor. Should you specialize in multi-generational wealth asset protection, your attention may focus on the upper economic class. That takes a different skill set than if you focus on young urban professionals. Think through the implications of your value proposition. Then, go one step further into the niche and market specifically to female clients. You’ll find yourself tailoring your business and your attitude to gracefully handle the particular challenges common to your under-served niche. Of course, try to ensure that the under-served niche you choose has a robust population. Otherwise you may find yourself looking for a new customer base.