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Finding, Developing and Prospering From Niche Markets

(December 2006) posted on Fri Jan 05, 2007

Discover tips and techniques that can help you profit from untapped niche markets.

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By Mark A. Coudray

Furthermore, you can afford to invest several hundred dollars into a really great design. Find a noted bird artist and create a hang tag around the design that promotes the species, the artist, and conservation efforts. You can charge a little more for each garment and make a local donation to the conservation efforts in the area. If you go this route, be very careful to follow-up and actually make the donation. If you don't, you expose yourself as having less than good intentions. You will effectively kill all your current efforts and spoil future plans.

One thing about local donations is that when you get going locally with a nonprofit, you'll develop a powerful grassroots referral and advocacy for your efforts. The more third-party endorsements and testimonials you develop, the more you'll sell to your specialized market. Keep track of your donations. They can become sizable, quickly giving you added marketing clout. When you say that combined sales of your conservation graphics (Figure 3) have resulted in local donations totaling more than $10,000 last year, you get the attention of anyone even vaguely interested in raising money for conservation efforts. You can then leverage the efforts to create seasonal editions.

You've identified your niche market and sales are rolling in, but this is no time to slow down. Sales mean momentum. Momentum means cashflow. You need to establish your leverage base before you step back to admire the improving profit. The steps of selecting the niche market and implementing the product were the invention. Now we're going to the next step: invention extension. It's at this step that you firmly entwine your efforts into the lifestyle of your niche market.

If you think what you're doing is selling screen-printed T-shirts, I'm afraid you've missed the message. You're selling communication based on an emotional need to share with others the belief held by the target niche market. Printed apparel is part of the total experience, and the experience is precisely what you're attempting to capture. The more you live and breath your chosen market, the better your understanding of what the experience is all about.


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