Overcoming Paralysis by Analysis

Carefree Entrepreneur Scot Bruesewitz is enthusiastic about determining his (and his family’s) financial destiny by starting his own business. His passions are literature, current events, and fly fishing.

“I have a burning desire to make this work and be able to provide a better lifestyle for my family,” says Scot. “I’m just finding it a challenge to get over the first hurdle of picking one niche to go into.”

Scot is not alone. This is an issue shared by many readers: having many interests and feeling “pulled” towards starting a business in several different niches.

Here’s what Scot, and you, too, can do if you’re having trouble determining which niche to go into.

  1. Narrow down your interests to two or three different niches you might base your business on. Scot is into literature, current events, and fly fishing.
  2. Go through the steps to figure out whether each has a sufficiently large target market to make for a viable business. All the details and step-by-step instructions are here in my essay “Get Ready.” But basically, you are looking for lots of web traffic and other businesses in that niche. If there are people selling products in that area, that means it is a saleable idea.

    In Scot’s case, current events is a "hot" topic all the time — but it's hard to sell products in this niche with so many free providers of news out there. However, fly fishing and literature do pass the test.

  3. For whatever business ideas that make it through that test, your next step is to make sure that niche is specific enough. For example, although it is a hot niche and a great market to go into, a topic like alternative health is too broad.

    You have to find your own slice of that market, like natural supplements for diabetics, raw food diets for weight loss … you get the idea. Get specific steps to help you do this in my essay here. You have to think about your own experience, what specifically about that topic do you like or have expertise in.

    For Scot’s fly fishing, he can’t just write a book about general fly fishing. He must get more specific. Does he have a special technique that lands him more fish? Does he live near a well-known fly fishing area? What about fly fishing does he do differently than others?

    Scot could write a fly fishing travel guide about his favorite fly fishing spots. Or, teach others his unique technique. Fly fisherman would be willing to pay for that.

  4. Finally, think about each specific niche you’ve put together. (And this is the tough part if you’re still feeling torn and are not sure which business to start.)

    You have to choose one to start working on and set the others aside for the time being. It’s a tough decision. But, I suggest picking the one you know the most about, the topic you can write most easily about, the one thing that friends and family come to you for information. And remember, you’re not “locked in” to this business idea forever.

Then, you just get started.

I recommend to Scot and you that you start writing about your niche. Writing out your ideas — just getting them on the page — is a great way to develop your business. Write articles about specific issues in your niche. Write out what products you might offer.

Things like that. You’ll come to realize if you’re truly interested in running your business in this niche.

Most importantly, by nailing down your niche and planning it out, you’ve taken action. You are no longer thinking about being a Carefree Entrepreneur. You are one. And, you’re actively working on your business.

If you decide that you prefer to work in another niche, it’s no problem. You haven’t spent any money.

But, you’ll have gained a lot of experience and knowledge. Pick your niche today and get started writing.

In an upcoming issue, we’ll go over how to set up your first website for your Carefree Business. If you can surf the Web — you can do this.

After that, we’ll cover how to fill it with content that will drive up your rankings in the search engines and keep your readers engaged and turn them into customers. A lot of the writing you do after you pick your niche will find a home on your website.

Your website is where you will test your business idea in the market and refine your niche to cater to what your prospects want.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, just shoot me an email: askjason@awaionline.com.

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Published: November 25, 2011

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