There it is! You’ve got it! The perfect idea for a business! But, frankly, it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. With any niche market, finding finance is a mite trickier than something with a guaranteed populist appeal.
Whether you’re setting up a company dedicated to vintage alarm clocks or a literary agency committed to science fiction set exclusively on Mars, you have to prove there’s a potential market for your business before you’ll get any funding.
So, how can you persuade your funder that your startup has the potential to set the business world alight?
Make yourself the solution
The real way to put your business into the category of “useful” is to illustrate the failings of your competitors. In your marketing pitches, it’s important to present problems that you’re the solution to. Make your product look like it has all the answers.
One prime example of this is the way that mineral powder makeup, which was previously a niche product, managed to mark itself out as the solution to the problems that other makeups posed.
Having noticed that oil-based cosmetics can create a thick and overbearing look in some people, the creators of mineral powder makeup marketed their product as being the polar opposite, instead promoting a subtler look.
It’s a strategy that doesn’t only apply to makeup. Mark yourself as the perfect alternative to other products and you’ll turn your niche into a goldmine.
Kickstart your way to your audience
Why bother with a cold and misunderstanding financial backer when you could reach your audience directly via funding platforms such as Kickstarter?
Essentially, crowdfunding is when you put your product on a website and offer people rewards in return for their patronage.
Out of all the newest forms of alternative funding, of which many have established themselves since 2008’s financial meltdown, crowdfunding platforms have gained the most press, with success stories springing up on a weekly basis.
Rock star Neil Young, for instance, managed to raise more than $5million for an MP3 player entitled the Pono Player, something which he probably couldn’t have funded without Kickstarter success. Really, he’s just the tip of the iceberg.
So, have a look at sites like Kickstarter, Nesta and Indiegogo for the chance to fund your products with the people who’ll actually buy them.
**Show how you can make your niche mainstream **
The real route to funding success is to show how you can make your seemingly niche product a mainstream hit. When you’re presenting your idea to a potential backer, find examples with even a tangential relation to yours that have gained success and present them like you’re Columbo cracking a case.
After all, why stay hidden in a niche market when you can expand to a global platform?