It seems to be increasingly more widespread. You have a business idea but worry it’s already overdone. When you look at the marketplace, all you see are thousands of people yelling over one another trying to get attention. How can you possibly be heard over the racket? The solution is to play in the fringes.
There’s one thing I need to make clear before we talk about this approach. If you notice thousands of people in your preferred industry, that’s a good thing. That means there’s a market for what you want to sell.
But, if you have an idea that has no competition at all, it may mean there’s no market for it. It’s not impossible, mind you, but there may not be people willing to buy what you want to sell. Just some food for thought.
Ok, that being said, one of the best ways to enter an overcrowded market is to seek an idea in the fringes of the industry. Rather than going for the obvious, try to find something just outside of it or one-off from it.
For instance, if you are considering starting a fitness business, look for something related to, but not the main idea. In the world of fitness, the main idea seems to be fitness trainers.
So, instead of becoming a trainer right off the bat, why not build something that connects trainers and clients (like a referral service). Or offer reviews of trainers to clients for a fee.
You are seeking something still in the industry, but on the fringes. Something not already overdone. This is the key to finding a niche in your industry.
Once you’ve made your mark in a fringe niche, it’s far easier to slide into the main idea if you want. Once you’ve built a following in the industry, you can more easily transition them to any new area of focus – even if it’s the primary, oversaturated idea.
The trick, then, lies in finding the right fringe idea. One method is to create a brain map.
Draw a circle in the center of a page and label it with the main idea for your industry (such as fitness trainer). Now, around the circle name as many things as you can that are part of the overall industry, but not the main idea. In our example, this could be the referral service, review service, etc.
Write everything down, no matter how big, small, or impractical you think the idea to be. Ask friends, family, and acquaintances for more ideas. Try to get as many as possible.
Once you have them all, sit down with your brain map and start narrowing down. You are seeking the ideas that work best with your current skills and connections.
It’s assumed you have a passion for the industry already, so focus on the ideas that best play to your strengths. In the end, you should have 2-3 ideas that stand out as the best.
The next step is to research the viability of each idea to determine which will be the best for you to pursue. Visit Business Research to learn how to do this.