“What you’re bad at actually doesn’t interest people, and it certainly shouldn’t interest you.” – Richard Branson
How did you get into business? What market did you pick, and more importantly, how did you come up with that particular market?
You see, a lot of folks start their own businesses based on interests, passions, hobbies, and stuff they like. However, most of these people never ask themselves whether the market, industry, or niche they’ve picked allows them to play to their strengths.
What do I mean by that?
Say you love gardening and everything that revolves around planting flowers and growing those sweet, juicy organic vegetables. You buy books on gardening. You invest in the latest gardening tools and equipment. You have the best apps and gadgets for gardening. Heck, you even go to all those fancy gardening workshops, fairs, and trade shows.
Does all this imply that you’re good at gardening?
Of course not. You could be a lousy gardener who loves to spend time and money on this biggest passion of yours.
Maybe you’re an excellent lawyer or dentist who uses gardening as a way of forgetting your day-to-day challenges in the office. Let me delight my sould with some work in the garden. Who knows, right?
Obviously, if you’re a really, really good gardener, you can use this *hot* market and launch your first business.
What is a Hot Market AKA an Ideal Market?
An ideal market is a market you’re really good at.
An ideal market is a market you have expertise in.
An ideal market is a market you’re familiar with.
This is the target market you want to pick for your business.
If you’re a great gardener, gardening is your target market. If you’re an excellent tennis player, tennis is your target market. If you excel at sales, there’s where you should focus on.
And, what do most people do?
The exact opposite.
They look for weaknesses and than they put their valuable energy, time and resources into “improving” these weaknesses.
Why do you torture yourself?
Why do you spend your precious time on your weaknesses instead of getting the most out of your strengths?
Turn those weaknesses into strengths by hiring great people who can compensate for them while you focus on your strengths. Remember, the things you’re bad at are always going to outnumber the things you’re good at.
So, why waste your valuable life trying to game the system?
“I said that it is important to look for one’s strengths – to try to excel at what you’re good at. (…) So don’t let your limits knock your self-confidence. Put them to one side and push yourself towards your strengths.”
– Richard Branson, (@richardbranson)
There are several paths and ways to find your ideal market.
One of the easiest and fastest ways to nail your target market, or pick your hot niche is by providing an answer to the following three questions.
Three Mission-Critical Questions You Should Ask Yourself Prior to Launching Your Business
Question #1: What’s your biggest strength?
Put differently, what’s the specific thing you excel at?
Pick a market you’re really good at. If you’re a great chiropractor, build your business around this unique skill you have. Invest time to strengthen and master the skill.
Get to know your clients and prospects better. Ask them why they prefer you over other chiropractors. Customer feedback can be very valuable. Use the information to carve out your unique selling proposition (USP) early in the game.
Question #2: Is your strength a source of pain for other people in your target market?
Put differently, is what you’re really good at a pain point for other people in your target market?
Two forces drive human beings: pain or pleasure.
Guess which one is stronger?
Let’s stick to the chiropractor example for a second longer.
What do you do if you have terrible back pains?
You look for a chiropractor. Actually, you look for a good chiropractor because you don’t want to end up like last time, when you tried to “save a few bucks” by picking a second-hand chiropractor.
Question #3: Is the pain so unbearable that people are willing to pay for a solution?
Put differently, does the thing you excel at cause people enough pain to be willing to pay you to alleviate their pain?
This is where the rubber meets the road.
This is why you need to investigate your market first. Remember, it’s far better to have a target audience that is in pain. Selling prevention is very difficult.
And therefore all the above translates into:
Pick your ideal market first. And choose it based on your strengths
Do the marketing FIRST. Create the product SECOND.
Not the other way around.
Unless, of course you want to join the 99% crowd…
Wrapping It Up
There is a funny thing happening with people from all over the world, and that is:
People don’t want to go through a pile of information anymore!
That used to be the case a few years ago. Today, we’ve got information overload.
Therefore the traditional model of providing customers with 16 DVDs, 2 books and 8 hours of video isn’t exactly the smartest thing to do.
People want quick, fast, and easy. Instant gratification.
Think Amazon Prime. You want a movie, you click a button (1-Click order) and you start watching.
Therefore, the concept of choosing your ideal market based on your strengths instead of exclusively on your likes, loves, or passions, is becoming even more important.
What are your strengths? What’s your ideal market?