Women are living longer than ever and are remaining vital into advanced old age. As a result, it is possible that we will outlive our significant others and our savings or will need to supplement our retirement income. Additionally, many of us who have aged out of the corporate world are seeking employment that would give our lives meaning.
Perhaps you are already thinking of starting a business by monetizing your passions. Every day, we run across news stories about women who have made millions with simple ideas. Spanx, anyone? However, before you invest valuable time and money, you must ask yourself, “Is there a market demand for my passion?”
You will have to answer this question by doing market research – regardless of whether your business is going to be digital or brick and mortar.
Which questions should you be asking yourself as you do your research? Let’s take a look.
For example, before I began my website design company, I was a writer. But I am also passionate about art, and I love doing research and solving problems. Website design is a perfect melding of my interests.
I knew my services would be in demand since every business needs a new website, updates on their existing website, or maintenance services. There are also add-on services such as search engine optimization, blogging, and various forms of digital or traditional marketing that I could offer.
Eventually, I could sell courses, templates, affiliate products and the like. Therefore, the answer was yes, there is a market for my passion.
One of the key factors in your analysis is to understand your target market thoroughly. The way you brand your business will be determined by the demographic you are targeting. For example, your voice, your value proposition, your brand images, and colors should be targeted to appeal to your demographic from the outset.
Fortunately, the advertising industry has spent billions of dollars researching the preferences of various demographics. You can apply their findings for free.
What should you take into account when determining your target market?
You can build a buyer persona using your knowledge. For example, you want to start a skincare line. The way you package your product and market it will vary depending on your targeted demographic.
Does your audience consist of well-educated urban women over 50 with a substantial disposable income? Then words like “exclusive ingredients,” “rich cream,” “coveted product,” “indulgence,” “ageless,” and “miraculous rejuvenation” tend to go with luxury packaging in colors that will appeal to over-50s.
Is your skincare product green, natural, and holistic? Your offer will be targeting an entirely different market, and your branding must align with the values and aesthetic preferences of that market.
Is your business going to be local or global? Understanding the size of your market will help you determine how much you could potentially earn.
There is no need to second guess. Your competition has done much of the work for you. However, once you find your niche, you must learn how to communicate your value to your customers.
For example, many people can build websites these days. But, as websites have gotten easier to build, being found online has gotten harder. That’s why I don’t simply build websites but write search engine optimized content that helps Google understand what those pages are about.
My background as a writer allows me to tell my clients’ stories in an interesting way while making the content all about what they can do for their own clients or customers.
Identify your competition. Surprisingly, many business owners can’t correctly identify their direct competition. I recently did some work for a suburban wedding venue that includes traditional banquet halls. I asked them who their competition was so that I could look into their various online offerings.
Surprisingly, they were only correctly able to identify one other banquet hall as their competition. They assumed that a ballroom in a luxury hotel in the heart of the city and a historical mansion that could host boutique wedding parties were also competition. Don’t make the mistake making invalid comparisons. Only compare like with like.
Take a good look at the competition and:
Ask yourself where you can shine or which areas will put you ahead of your competitors:
Initially when I began my website business, I thought that my ability to write excellent search engine optimized content was my superpower. As time went on, I realized I was branding my clients’ sites to specifically appeal to their targeted demographics.
Since the Covid crises, I’ve been consulting with clients to improve their overall branding, that is, the way a business appears everywhere online from Google business pages to LinkedIn to other social media. These days, a website is only part of your branding and must be integrated into a holistic marketing plan.
A final question you can ask yourself is – will I market my business as a B2C or a B2B. I’ve run across various types of coaches online who market their services to corporate businesses instead of individuals. Obviously, they can charge big business much more than they can private clients.
Additionally, you can also create packages in the form of online courses, seminars with upsells and the like that would create a passive income for your business in time.
If you have been able to answer these questions, you are ready to start thinking about financing and then branding. In future posts, I will show you how to brand your business, create a branded website, and get noticed online.
What is your passion and do you think you can monetize it? Have you done some research on the topic? What do you know about online branding and have you utilized it yet?