Tag Archives: Competition

5 Proven Ways to Create a Successful Niche Business

Too many business owners fish in the widest and deepest pools’ trying to be all things to all people. Offering a broad range of products and services to a broad audience and never really create the waves that lead to tremendous profits. By positioning yourself at the top of a smaller, well defined pool (or niche) you will set your business apart from the competition and create a profitable business.

Here are five proven ways to create a profitable niche business.

1. Define Your Market

Research the needs and challenges of your target audience and capitalize on those needs. Understand the community and develop solutions that appeal to a specific group. For example – Understanding Social media in Small Business is a need of the small business community, a niche market would be to develop a product or service that teach small business owners how to use social media in their business.

2. Create Your Product or Service

Based upon the needs of your target audience, you want to create a product or offer a service that addresses those needs. Many start with developing their products first without researching if there is a market for it. First define your audience and establish there is a demand for a new product and then develop it.

3. Create Your Brand Promise

The brand promise is a statement of what your customers can expect every time they engage with your company and is the center of your business. When a brand stands out with a strong promise that deliver value consistently, the value of your offering increases and customers will be willing to whip out their wallets and pay for your products.

4. Become the Expert

Position yourself as an expert in your niche and become the “go to guy” for this product of service. Showcase your knowledge and expertise by writing articles, participating in forums and providing tips, techniques and strategies in short, succinct messages via popular social networking sites.

5. Create specific messages direct to your niche

Business is conducted on an emotional level. Now that you have identified your market, built a community around your offering, you must communicate with your target market frequently. Develop specific messages targeted towards your niche market appealing to their emotions and demonstrating your benefits. It takes 7 times before somebody is comfortable enough with you and your expertise to buy from you so be specific, be credible and offer extraordinary value.

No matter if you are a retailer, service professional, internet marketer or mom and pop shop, you stand for something. There is a reason that you went into business and a reason why you want your business run a certain way. Building a brand starts with defining what is your core purpose and the inherent promise you are making to your customers and delivering value every time. Isolating your niche in your area of expertise and bringing solutions to a targeted group will keep the cash registers ringing every time.

Source: Nicebusinesssecretsrevealed.com

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Choosing the Best Internet Marketing Tactics

With so many new Internet marketing tactics appearing regularly, options in online marketing can seem endless. That can be problematic when running an Internet marketing campaign with limited resources, because there isn’t time to dabble in everything. Instead, the best Internet marketing tactics have to be chosen, which will provide the best return on investment (ROI).

Internet marketing is a very general term, which encompasses many types of niche marketing, all which can be used effectively online. The following are examples of types of Internet marketing:

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Natural Search Engine Rankings through link-building, keyword density, and more.
2. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – A specialty form of online advertising, where ads are purchased on search engine results pages (SERPs) for certain keywords.

3. Email Marketing – Sending ezines, newsletters, or other email correspondence, with a marketing message, special offer, or inciting a certain action.
4. Online Advertising – Purchasing banner ads, text links, sponsorships, or other forms of paid advertising online.
5. Online PR – Using press releases, blogs, and other tools to convey company news and build an image online.
6. Affiliate Marketing – Bringing in third parties to sell for the company, for a share of each sale.
7. Viral Marketing – Using tools such as viral videos, file sharing, or tell-a-friend links to take advantage of word-of-mouth marketing on the Web.

To choose the most effective Internet marketing tactics for a website or online business, follow these five steps:

1. Choose an industry or niche that has a real demand or need to be satisfied.
2. Identify members of the target market, what their needs are, and how you’ll fill them.
3. Figure out what has the most influence over members of that target market.
4. Look at what the competition is doing, and see how you can do it better.
5. Decide on your Internet marketing budget, and build an Internet marketing plan around it.

While designing your Internet marketing plan, it can help to list every Internet marketing tactic within your budget that comes to mind, as long as it can reach the target market. That list can then be narrowed down by running each Internet marketing tactic through this checklist to find the best Internet marketing tactics for your needs:

__ The Internet marketing tactic has the potential to reach the target market.
__ The Internet marketing tactic has the potential to influence the target market.
__ This general tactic has been used successfully to reach this target market’s demographic group (in this industry or a complementary one) in the past.
__ The Internet marketing tactic will help to differentiate the business from competitors.
__ The Internet marketing tactic can be implemented effectively without exceeding the marketing budget.

Source: Marketingnova.com

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Fashion Competitions that can help Grow your Business

As the number of emerging designers in Europe grow, private companies and fashion-focused institutions are keen on developing new talents. Below is a list – in no particular order – of nine fashion competitions that could be useful in helping you grow your label.

Let us know in the comments if you spot any omissions!

1. NewGen. (London) Created by the British Fashion Council in 1993 it was the world’s first scheme to support emerging designer talent, NEWGEN is the most sought-after competition for fashion designers in the UK. Winners are given sponsorship to put on catwalk shows, presentations or exhibit.  Their alumni list reads like a who’s who of London fashion and includes Alexander McQueen, Boudicca, Giles Deacon and Jonathan Saunders – among others.

2. Fashion Fringe at Covent Garden. (London) Fashion Fringe, sponsored by IMG, is dedicated in promoting British talent. Finalists are given a budget to cover their expenses (living expenses, fabric, technical staff) in creating up with a collection. The winner receives business training, industry mentoring and marketing support from Fashion Fringe partners.

3.  International Talent Support. (Trieste, Italy) ITS is divided into three competitions – Fashion, Accessories and Photography. It was put together eight years ago for new talents all over the world. ITS gives its winners financial opportunities, work placements and occasions to have their work shown to a jury of industry professionals.

4. Fashion East. (London) Fashion East is a great way to get large amounts of PR and an entry to London Fashion Week. It’s a non-profit organization based at the Truman Brewery, the creative hub of London’s East End. With an impressive 8-year track record, Fashion East offers financial support to the winners as well as catwalk show production, PR support and expert advice to help them come up with a label.

5. ANDAM Paris International Fashion Award. (France) ANDAM is a prestigious European fashion competition, having launched the careers of Martin Margiela, Viktor & Rolf, Jeremy Scott. It offers a bursary worth 150,000 Euros (2008) and industry support in France. The competition is open to fashion designers of any nationality under the age of 40. Entry forms are available at their website.

6. El Boton – Mango Fashion Awards. (Spain) A joint effort between button set company El Boton and retail giant Mango, with support from prestigious design schools all over Europe: Central Saint Martins, Escola Superior de Disseny, Institut Français de la Mode, Istituto Marangoni  and the Antwerp royal academy. “These schools will form part of the First Jury, which will shortlist the 10 finalists out of the 50 candidates previously selected by the Mango Committee.” The prize is 300,00 Euros!

7. Plus 46 Awards (Stockholm) +46 Awards aims to bring out Scandinavia’s next biggest fashion designer. The sole winner will given the opportunity to present their collection at Stockholm Fashion Week. The winner also gets a deal to sell the collection to one of Scandinavia’s biggest department stores, PUB.

8. International de Mode et de Photographie à Hyères.(France) The Hyeres Festival is an annual competition for both fashion designers and photographers. Eleven fashion designers showcase their collections and compete for three major prizes: The 1.2.3  Award – opportunity to design an entire collection that will be produced and distributed by 1.2.3. and a grant of 15,000 EUR. The L’Oréal Professional Award – 15,000 EUR additional financial support. The Punto Seta Award – four designers are invited to Punto Seta’s production facilities where they are given free rein to create and use any type of fabric.

Although you can’t apply for it, the Swiss Textiles Award is worth mentioning. It’s aimed at designers who have already had a fair amount of exposure, with potential to grow. Every year the award is presented at the Swiss Textile Federation’s event, the Stella Fashion Night. The winner receives a prize worth 100,000 Euros, of which 10%  are earmarked for the purchase of Swiss fabrics.

Apply to these events. Even if you don’t make it the first time, it can be rewarding to stay on their radar and update them regarding your successes.

Source: Worldonahanger.com By Megan

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How to Define your Target Market

To build a solid foundation for your business, you must first identify your typical customer and tailor your marketing pitch accordingly.

With the current state of the economy, having a well-defined target market is more important than ever. No one can afford to target everyone. Small businesses can effectively compete with large companies by targeting a niche market.

Many businesses say they target “anyone interested in my services.” Some may say they target small business owners, homeowners, or stay-at-home moms. All of these targets are too general.

Targeting a specific market does not mean that you have to exclude people that do not fit your criteria from buying from you. Rather, target marketing allows you to focus your marketing dollars and brand message on a specific market that is more likely to buy from you than other markets. This is a much more affordable, efficient, and effective way to reach potential clients and generate business.

For example, an interior design company could choose to market to homeowners between the ages of 35-65 with incomes of $150,000+ in the Baton RougeLouisiana, market. To define the market even further, the company could choose to target only those interested in kitchen and bath remodeling and traditional styles. This market could be broken down into two niches: parents on the go and retiring baby boomers.

With a clearly defined target audience, it is much easier to determine where and how to market your company. Here are some tips to help you define your target market.

How to Define Your Target Market: Look at Your Current Customer Base

Who are your current customers, and why do they buy from you? Look for common characteristics and interests. Which ones bring in the most business? It is very likely that other people like them could also benefit from your product/service.

Dig Deeper: Upselling: Dig Deeper Into Your Customer Base

How to Define Your Target Market: Check Out Your Competition

Who are your competitors targeting? Who are their current customers? Don’t go after the same market. You may find a niche market that they are overlooking.

Dig Deeper: In Praise of Niche Marketing

How to Define Your Target Market: Analyze Your Product/Service

Write out a list of each feature of your product or service. Next to each feature, list the benefits they provide (and the benefits of those benefits). For example, a graphic designer offers high quality design services. The resulting benefit is a professional company image. A professional image will attract more customers because they see the company as professional and trustworthy. So ultimately, the benefit of high quality design is to gain more customers and make more money.

Once you have your benefits listed, make a list of people who have a need that your benefit fulfills. For example, a graphic designer could choose to target businesses interested in increasing their client base. While this is still too general, you now have a base to start from.

Dig Deeper: How to Conduct Market Research

How to Define Your Target Market: Choose Specific Demographics to Target

Figure out not only who has a need for your product or service, but also who is most likely to buy it. Think about the following factors:

    • Age
    • Location
    • Gender
    • Income level
    • Education level
    • Marital or family status
    • Occupation
    • Ethnic background

Dig Deeper: Why Demographics Are Crucial to Your Business

How to Define Your Target Market: Consider the Psychographics of Your Target

Psychographics are more personal characteristics of a person, including:

    • Personality
    • Attitudes
    • Values
    • Interests/hobbies
    • Lifestyles
    • Behavior

Determine how your product or service will fit into your target’s lifestyle. How and when will they use the product? What features are most appealing to them? What media do they turn to for information? Do they read the newspaper, search online, or attend particular events?

Dig Deeper: Understanding How Your Customers Think

How to Define You Target Market: Evaluate Your Decision

Once you’ve decided on a target market, be sure to consider these questions:

    • Are there enough people that fit my criteria?
    • Will my target really benefit from my product/service? Will they see a need for it?
    • Do I understand what drives my target to make decisions?
    • Can they afford my product/service?
    • Can I reach them with my message? Are they easily accessible?

Don’t break your target down too far! Remember, you can have more than one niche market. Consider if your marketing message should be different for each niche market. If you can reach both niches effectively with the same message, then maybe you have broken down your market too far. Also, if you find that there are only 50 people that fit all of your criteria, maybe you should reevaluate your target. The trick is to find that perfect balance.

You may be asking, “How do I find all this information?” Try searching online for research others have done on your target. Search for magazine articles and blogs that talk about your target market or that talk to your target market. Search for blogs and forums where people in your target market communicate their opinions. Look for survey results, or consider conducting a survey of your own. Ask your current customers for feedback.

Defining your target market is the hard part. Once you know who you are targeting, it is much easier to figure out which media you can use to reach them and what marketing messages will resonate with them. Instead of sending direct mail to everyone in your zipcode, you can send only to those who fit your criteria. Save money and get a better return on investment by defining your target audience.

Dig Deeper: How to Find New Customers and Increase Sales

Source: Inc.com By Mandy Porta

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