Is Yours A Niche Idea?

Neither a borrower nor a lender be — or so Shakespeare tells us. There may be some wisdom to the Bard’s words. After all, Presidential candidate Barack Obama is receiving all kinds of criticism right now for ‘borrowing’ some elements of a key campaign speech from Governor Deval Patrick.

Setting politics aside for the moment, this scenario raises an interesting question for Nichepreneurs™. When is your great new idea really YOUR idea, and when have you borrowed too liberally from someone else?

This is why research is so essential. If you’ve been working for someone else, locked in the all-encompassing embrace of a larger organization, it’s easy to develop a type of tunnel vision and perceive a lack in your organization as indicative of a lack in your industry as a whole. One of the most critical things you can do at this point is to step back and take an objective look at the marketplace. Is the need you’re seeing on a daily basis truly going unmet? Do you see anyone already doing what you’re planning on doing yourself? Has their idea inspired yours?

There is nothing wrong with taking inspiration from any number of places. However, you always want to be aware of your influences, and make sure that what you’re doing is markedly different and unique. While imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, few business owners appreciate the flattery — so avoid the headaches later by doing research now!

Susan Friedmann, CSP, The NichePreneur Coach, is a niche marketing expert who helps small business owners, entrepreneurs and service professionals, find and capitalize on a niche market. Author: "Riches in Niches: How to Make it BIG in a small Market," "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Target Marketing," and many other titles. For more great information on niche marketing strategies that work, and for a complementary copy of  "The NichePreneur Mindset: How to Find Your Niche to Success," visit Click to download the "Riches in Niches" app.

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