A lot has been said and written about enterprise creation and finding the gap in the market. In most cases this is easier said than done.
The questions, pointers and dilemmas all remain the same. In this post I will tell you how to go about finding your niche with an example of a fashion designer looking to set up your own boutique/establish his/her own label. You can tweak it to find your own niche in whatever line of work you prefer…
Begin With yourself…”What is your forte?” Determine what is it that you are good at…are you good at designing clothes or just tailoring. If you are a good designer and could leave the tailoring to someone else then do so.
Your forte could be formal wear/casual wear/semi-formals. Focus on one or two specialties to begin with. This will help you develop an image as the designer who offers great casual wear or does the best wedding gowns in town.
Forge Strategic Partnerships: With people who are reliable and efficient as this will have an impact on the quality of work that you will ultimately deliver. List who your strategic partners will be…embroiderers, suppliers (fabric and embellishments), and tailors could be some people who you would have to partner with.
Get a “Name”: Business branding is crucial…get a name that gives you a competitive edge. Don’t forget to add that element of fun. As a beginner you might not be well known which is why having a line in your own name could prove to be a risky proposition. But there is no harm in trying your hand at that.
Customers today look for personalization and flexibility on the part of the vendor. This is precisely why you should offer “custom tailoring” and exhibit willingness to work in tandem with your clients. Be open to working with their fabrics instead of insisting that you source it for them.
If clients wanted a standard look then they wouldn’t come to you in the first place. Think about…what is it that you can offer them as opposed to a store where the only personal touch they get is the sales person who helps them pick outfits off the rack. Strike a personal relationship with them. Be approachable, warm and sincere in your approach.
Pricing decisions: Find your niche in the market and price accordingly. Don’t be afraid to charge for quality…there will be takers if the product/service is worthwhile.
Establish an online presence: Get a website or even a page on a social networking site. Put up pictures (good quality images are important), prices and sizes to make things simpler for customers. Update your website/page regularly. Always respond to queries and messages promptly.
Create new products/services in the traditional products/services category: Like a stitched sari or a reversible shirt. People will be willing to pay for innovative outfits so put on your thinking cap and you could come up with some interesting apparel.
A good look at these factors should help you carve your niche in any field you want to. Coming up next…how to set up an online business venture!