Are you looking to start a business? Perhaps you’ve been furloughed or laid off due to coronavirus, or you’ve simply decided that it’s time for a change.
What Is a Business Niche … and How Do You Choose One?
A business niche is a specific group of consumers who want a particular service or product. Choosing a niche helps you carve out space in a crowded marketplace. This guide by Dane Maxwell explains that:
“Catering to the demands of niche markets is an effective way for small business owners to quickly establish a profitable business with a loyal customer base.”
When you’re deciding on a niche, it’s important not to simply pick something that sounds fun or interesting. Of course, you want to run a business that you enjoy … but you also want a niche that’s going to make you money.
Here are 5 unusual (but profitable) niches to try in 2020:
#1: Subscription Boxes
Subscription boxes have become hugely popular over the past few years. You could create a subscription box for crafts, books, clothes, board games, mindfulness, fitness … or pretty much anything you can think of. If you’re stuck, just check out these great ideas.
To encourage customers to stick around longer, you can offer a discount if they prepay for 6 months or 12 months upfront.
Tip: When pricing your boxes, figure out the cost of providing your subscription boxes, and add a 40% margin. You should be able to get a wholesale price on the products you’re including, or you may be able to get a special deal from manufacturers. However, you need to factor in all the costs like the box itself, packing and shipping, and customer service.
#2: Disaster/Emergency Survival Kits
Hopefully, your business has a contingency plan … but increasingly, individuals and families are planning for emergencies and disasters too, especially after facing Covid-19 upheaval.
You might want to think about twists you could put on standard disaster/emergency kits. Perhaps you provide kits aimed at larger families, for instance, or kits that are designed to help people cope when shelter-in-place orders are issued.
Tip: You could sell a basic survival kit with plenty of addons available, as this makes it easy to offer deals and discounts that encourage people to buy more from you.
#3: Plastic-Free Products
More and more consumers are looking for plastic-free products … and your business could help supply those. You could look for ways to offer alternatives to single-use or unnecessary plastics. For instance, you might provide reusable sandwich bags, bamboo kitchen implements, or reusable drinking straws.
With some countries banning certain single-use plastics such as plastic straws, this is a niche that’s definitely going to grow in the years to come.
Tip: Investing in reusable products is more expensive upfront than buying disposable ones … but customers will save money over time. Look for ways to highlight the savings rather than the upfront cost.
#4: Online Tutoring
With many parents around the world homeschooling, online tutoring is taking off like never before. You don’t necessarily need to help with a specific subject – you might simply be there to help keep kids on task and focused, freeing parents up to concentrate on their work.
To get started, all you really need is a free Zoom account and maybe a simple website for your business.
Tip: Tutoring can be quite tiring work, so think carefully about what age group you want to tutor. Maybe you love working with young kids, or maybe have a great rapport with teens. Pick the age group that suits you best, and focus on finding clients in that group.
#5: Organic Skincare Products
Many consumers are looking for organic and premium skin care products, either for themselves or for their kids. People are skeptical about cheap big-brand products that may contain chemical nasties … making this a great niche for small businesses to get in on. Plus, you’ll have lots of opportunities for cross-selling and upselling.
Tip: Testimonials will make a big difference to your sales. Encourage customers to review your products or to let you know how they got on with them. Make sure you share testimonials and good reviews prominently on your website and Facebook page.
There’s still time to turn your year around. Try one of these business ideas – or come up with something of your own – and you might be looking at a much brighter start to next year.
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