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Guest Post: Before you startup, find your niche

A hard truth that many startups struggle to find is that;

“When you try to appeal to everyone, you appeal to no one.”

Tatango.com CEO Derrick Johnson thinks so. Johnson’s message is as simple as the concept itself. Consumers are attracted to “who does it the best.”

Tatango is a web-based company that specializes in one-to-many group SMS communication otherwise known as text message marketing. Their niche? Providing the best group SMS communication application possible.

“About a year into it, we started adding additional features. You know, voice calling, integration to twitter, Facebook; and what was interesting [was] that it became confusing. They didn’t know exactly what we were best at. Pretty much from there we said we wanted to be the best group text messaging website.”

Johnson and his team made a conscience decision not to expand onto other avenues like direct response SMS. His decision clearly paid off.

Here are some things to keep in mind regarding finding your niche:

Be Narrow Focused. Be Specific

If there is a market for your niche, stick to it. Simplifying your focus can only lead to a cleaner product. Consumers will recognize and appreciate anything of quality, rather than something hastily thrown together. Keep your product lean and the function smoothe & efficient.

Look at how simple and basic craigslist.org is, but that same basic website generated over $110 million in revenue in 2010. Focusing on one specific idea will also lead to a product one can be much more knowledgeable about.

Be passionate and find an edge

You can be specific and find an edge at the same time. Ask yourself;

If this market is undervalued, where is it undervalued and why?

There may be more than just a need; maybe there is a niche market? Ex. facebook is the social network giant, but linkedin does a great job of connecting industry professionals. It will be easier to find an edge in something you’re passionate about.

Jason Ross, CEO of Jackthreads, found his fortune through desire. He combined his passions for high and trendy mens fashion and discount shopping.  Niches may be found in questions you ask yourself each and every day. [see Mixergy interview]

Stalling is death

Johnson briefly spoke about the “hustle mentality,” and the meaning behind it. We all know nothing comes easy however, we must also be aware that the web is fast paced and those who don’t progress with the flow of information, don’t make it. Constantly be on top of news, events, politics, laws and how they might could effect the venture.


I make money online through websites and business consulting. Everyday I'm challenging myself to learn and do more.

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