I am a certified Style Coach, who currently works one-on-one with individuals in person and via Skype. My business is starting to fall off and I think my "niche" is too broad - e.g. women business professionals. Any tips on how to narrow a niche through research would be appreciated! Also any tips to expand online vs. in-person would be great as well.

A niche market is a small subset of the market for a specific demographic, product type, a particular price point, and a certain quality. With less competition, you have higher chances to sell your product to the exact right people, that want and need your product. Since your target customer is right there, you will not have to spend as much money on marketing. For start-ups to enter the market and get off the ground properly, they need to place themselves in a relatively small niche. If there are a few competitors, it means that there is a market and a need for your type of product and concept. You can always tweak both your concept, values, business strategies and products to differentiate yourself from the others. If you want to get a reality check, you should visit a trade fair for your type of products. If you are making activewear you can for example visit ISPO Munich, which is the world’s largest trade fair for sports business.
To identify a unique niche in the personal style/fashion community try finding answers to the following questions:
Q.1. HOW do you find your niche market?
Amazons “best seller” page is updated every hour so you will have an exactly accurate list of products to compare with. If you are already in a niche market, you might answer these questions and find that you should remain in your niche or move away into a new niche where the opportunities are bigger for you. Make a long list with ideas, do not edit anything, at least not yet. The more ideas you have, the better it is.

Q.2. What are your passions and skills?
If this is your first business, you will soon realize that there are ups and downs, and you will realize how hard you have to work to succeed. You will work 24/7 on your business, and if your passion does not lie here, you should then NOT launch a clothing brand. Customers in niche markets tend to be deeply knowledgeable, and they will sniff your miles away if you are not authentic and if you do not know your stuff. Make a list of at least 5 things you are good at.

Q.3. What values do you want to run your business by?
The apparel market is extremely saturated. Today’s customers buy brands based on values and what they stand for. By making a list of values, you will narrow down even more on your target customer, demographic, and positioning. If you have a hard time coming up with ideas, start listing the values that you love about your favourite brands.

Q.4. Who is your customer?
For a brand to be successful, the brand absolutely needs to know who its target customer is. To know their preferences, where they shop, what they like, what they do not like, you must create a target customer profile before you start your brand. If you know people that fit your ideal customer profile, talk to them. They are most likely, not your ideal customer. We have written a post called How to define your customer. It is exactly about what the headline states, how to define your customer. Read the post to help you identify your target customer. And everything you do in your business, from the moment you have defined your ideal customer, everything you put out into the world should be for this person. It is vital to know the market you are entering. You should check as much what is not on the marketplace as what is. Talk to retailers and if possible, customers to get clarification on this. Figure out what makes them your competition, and then do it better or different. Make a SWOT analysis after you have done your market research. You will get some ideas about how to make your brand stand out.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call:

Answered 8 months ago

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