How To Find A Business Niche That Hasn’t Already Been Dominated

In the era of information overload, we’re surrounded every day by new ideas, technology and innovation. Finding a niche that hasn’t already been dominated may seem impossible for the aspiring entrepreneur. Yet every day someone creates something new to reach a market that hasn’t yet been saturated.

It’s possible to carve out your own unique niche, but you need the right tools and expertise to do it. Below, eight Young Entrepreneur Council members shared their best suggestions for how to find a business niche that still has plenty of untapped potential.

1. Lead With Your Values And Strengths

The most important thing about business is finding something that aligns with your values and strengths. One of the significant pitfalls of entrepreneurs is chasing fads. It seems elementary, but you need to self-evaluate before deciding on a niche. Once you’ve taken the time to evaluate your skills, search job postings and sites like LinkedIn to see if people are looking for talent in your area of expertise. Use LinkedIn polls to find out if people need the services you offer. Then tailor your message to address those needs. If you can solve problems for your customers, you will have a steady stream of business. – Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc.

2. Become An Integration Partner For An Established Solution

Creating a new category costs a fortune to market and develop, and competing with a large player is a dangerous game. Instead, build on top of an established market leader. Think of Shopify, Salesforce, Microsoft SharePoint—These enterprises have invested billions in building a name and onboarding high-profile customers. Integration partners or solution developers can benefit a lot from tapping into an established marketplace, cutting marketing costs and reducing friction in complex migrations. This is a great and proven model that’s easy to bootstrap with limited risk. – Mario Peshev, DevriX

3. Pinpoint A Gap During Market Research

Market research is everything. You can’t find your perfect niche without establishing what’s already been taken by the big dogs. Once you have an idea of what you can’t claim as your niche, start to think about what was noticeably missing. What could customers benefit from that you weren’t able to find during your research? What could you bring to the table that they would find genuinely valuable? This is the stage of developing your brand where you need to firmly place yourself in the shoes of the customer. Think about what you would like to see introduced to the market. Finding success with a niche business idea relies on genuine interest from both customers and yourself. If you aren’t excited about your idea, no one else will be either. – Nick Venditti, StitchGolf

4. Find A Subcategory Within An Existing Industry

Just like Inception, you need to go deeper. Finding a business niche with untapped potential often requires you to find a subcategory within an existing industry. This limits your potential audience at first, but it’s a good starting point for developing your brand or product. It also allows you to build incrementally and start focusing on other niches in the future, which will slowly expand your reach. – Bryce Welker, Real Estate Schooler

5. Leverage Search Engines And Social Media

Conducting research via search engines and social media provides clear overviews of different industries, the competition and target audiences. This data will help an entrepreneur determine whether an industry is dominated. If an industry is dominated, it’s still okay for an entrepreneur to launch an offer as long as it’s slightly different from the rest of the offerings in the market. – Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC

6. Find A Part Of The Market Bigger Companies Aren’t Serving

The goal isn’t to avoid competition really, but more to find a safe enough landing from which you can expand and dominate the competition. With that mindset, I’ll say that competition is welcome. Pick a niche based on something you’re passionate about or have some knowledge of or experience working in. It’ll make your journey less of a struggle, making it easier for you not to quit. Now, once you’ve found that niche, don’t get tempted to play the same game the bigger market shareholders are playing. They have more resources, established relationships and experience at that game. It’s a losing game for you most of the time. Instead, fund that part of the market they’re not really serving well. Dig deeper to find them and focus all your energy to be the best service provider for them. – Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS

7. Let Your Customers Drive Your Efforts

For those of you who already have a business but have not necessarily carved out a specific segment of your market to target, the best thing you can do is let the customer engagement and interest naturally drive your efforts. Create the content your customers seek out and ask for, engage with them and you will begin to slowly carve out a niche of your own. It is incredibly difficult to instead swim upstream and attract a customer base that may not be naturally interested in what you are trying to sell or the way your brand is presented. – Salvador Ordorica, The Spanish Group LLC

8. Establish A Problem You Can Solve

Before trying to zero in on a niche, you need to first establish what problem or need you’re trying to solve. Looking at your target market, identify what their biggest desire or challenge is. What do you have to offer to fulfill that? Once you determine what their needs are and how you can support them, only then can you determine what niche you should follow. Over time, as you continue to strive to meet those needs, you begin to zero in on exactly what your audience’s pain points are and how best to meet them. This is where you begin to carve out a niche for yourself. It isn’t necessarily a decision you make at the very start of your journey. It’s one that comes about over time as you do your very best to meet your audience where they are at that moment. – Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker

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