7 steps to a successful niche venture

Niche ventures often start as a passion that grows from a dream, and with the help of willing and equally zealous business angels some can be converted from garden-shed enterprises into successful businesses.

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2nd October 2009 at 12:09 pm

Although not all niche ventures have the capacity to grow into thriving businesses, some are ripe for a funding boost, so here are seven steps to building a successful niche business while keeping the business angels who finance your venture happy.

Follow your passion – Consider the things that you are truly passionate about. Whether it is a passion for a particular sector of the market that you feel is being ignored or a strong belief that something already in existence could be done better, your passion could lead to a profitable venture.

Business angels love passionate entrepreneurs and some of the most successful businesses were born from a simple passion, which means that nurturing yours might allow it to grow into something truly amazing.

Get intimate with your market – Okay, well maybe not that kind of intimate, but you should certainly know everything there is to know about your niche market.

If you followed step 1, the chances are you already know a thing or two about your target audience, but no matter how well you think you know your niche, conducting extensive research will probably uncover some very helpful titbits and will show business angels how serious you are and that you really know your stuff.

Speak their language – Obtaining an intrinsic understanding of your market will surely reveal the best means of communicating with your audience. Whether you are marketing to snowboarders or bankers, speaking at their level and in their language is an important part of any effective marketing strategy.

Expand your niche – While niches are, by definition, limited and specific, they can still be developed and expanded while staying true to your core market.

By treading lightly and testing the market to better understand the natural boundaries of your particular niche, you can expand your market without devastating your loyal customers or worrying business angels who may grow wary if you stray too far from your fundamental ethos.

Be the go-to guy (or gal) – Venture promotion is all about expensive advertising budgets, isn’t it? Simply put, no. Public relations is a particularly effective marketing tool for niche ventures and is an excellent way to convince business angels and customers alike that you are an expert in your field.

Offer your unique wisdom to magazines, websites, newspapers, television programmes and radio shows – any medium your audience is likely to partake in – and become a sought-after expert in your niche. The promotional rewards could be immense.

Stay true to your niche – As mentioned in step 4, those loyal consumers that fell in love with you right from the start may not like it if you begin to stray too far from your niche core. While growing and expanding is all well and good, never lose sight of what drew your customers to you in the first place and be wary of over-expansion.

To maintain that central place in their hearts – and more importantly, their wallets – be careful not to deviate too far and unintentionally knock yourself out of the position you and your business angels fought so hard to reach in your niche.

Grow your business – The fact that you have a niche business does not mandate that it has to stay small. It is entirely possible to stay true to your niche market while carefully choosing opportunities for expansion and growth.

Widen your market, broaden your reach and find business angels who are passionate about your area of expertise to invest in your venture and blast it to exciting new heights. Many successful international conglomerates started on a shoestring and a lot of dedication to an idea that captured the imagination of a generation.

Follow this basic how-to guide, tend to your passion with regular care and feeding, and never forget the reason you started your niche venture.

This is what will get you out of bed in the morning, push you to strive for success, and bring business angels knocking at your door eager to invest in your endeavour and assist you in bringing your business dreams to fruition.

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Bill Morrow

Bill Morrow is our "token male", in an otherwise female company. He is also a co-founder, having set up Angels Den in 2007 after several years researching the market. Bill's background is in City banking and funding, and is a firm believer that there is plenty of funding around for really good business ideas. Since forming Angels Den and attracting 2000 Angels in the first year, we tend to believe him! http://www.angelsden.co.uk

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  1. Shedworking says:

    Speaking as an überniche chap, I think these are all very good pieces of advice. The only one I’d mildly disagree with is the last – there’s always pressure to grow businesses which is obviously fine for some people, but I see nothing wrong in a successful small business either. Sometimes growing brings additional unwanted complications e.g. work/life balance and ruins the whole thing.

    Although if any angels want to buy Shedworking for a million quid, I’m quite happy to eat my words/hat/humble pie.

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