Research and Choose Your Niche

Step 2 to starting a business online with almost no money is to research and choose your niche wisely. Let’s dive in.

If you read the last article, we were identifying potential businesses niches to work in by looking through the business section of the phone book.  Angie’s List and the Yellow Pages work too if you’re looking for an Internet-based niche listing.

For the sake of ease, I’m going to use the example of a paving company that does asphalt repair.  Why did I select a paving contractor?

Because there’s a lot of money in milling down roads, resurfacing blacktop, and paving driveways.  Have you ever called one of those companies for a quote?  Asphalt companies charge thousands of dollars just to repair your driveway.  In my neighborhood, just outside of Albany, New York, asphalt contractors were charging $4.50 per square foot.  That’s a lot, but it’s perfect from a business perspective.

The driveways around our culdesac ranged in price from $4,000 to $10,000 (which happened to be my house because of our ridiculously long driveway).  I wasn’t happy paying that, but I did because I needed it.  Knowing those prices, imagine the amount of money they can command for a larger job like a mall parking lot.

In regard to call volume, it generates a medium level of calls because it’s something that needs to be done every few years.  Especially in areas like New York State, with its harsh weather conditions and recurring freeze-thaw patterns, asphalt cracks and degrades quickly. That leads to more customers call in to get their home driveways fixed.  Commercial paving jobs come in constantly as well.  Crossgates Mall in Albany can’t have potholes or ruts in their parking lot because it could damage a customer vehicle and cause a major insurance problem.  So, instead of taking the risk, the management team calls a local Albany-based contractor to repair the asphalt.

So there you have it.  Research and choose your niche effectively by narrowing your options. The next article discusses how to build a website for that niche.

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