If you are ready to be your own boss and claim your status as entrepreneur, finding the right niche can make a huge difference in running a business that is successful from one that is a flop. One example of a successful niche is Zumiez, who made themselves known in the surfing and boarding community. This company marketed their products to a predominantly young group of consumers, and along with having retail locations, created a website that sells their products. Having a niche is a critical component for any successful business in order to leverage your company to a targeted audience, standing out among other competing companies.

Need a little help finding your business niche? Below are 5 tips to get you started.

1. Know Your Passion

The first step in coming up with the perfect niche is making a list of what you are passionate about. What ideas would make you excited to go to work every day? If you are passionate about your business, you will more likely to put all of your time and energy into it. You will put more hours into your business and effort into your website, store, or office, making it a success. However, if you are doing something you don’t love, you’re not going to nurture and grow your business very well. Find out what you love to do and what problem you want to be the one to have a solution in order to become a success in your niche.

2. Do Your Market Research

Marketing research is done with every business in order to determine who the target demographic is, what problems your target audience needs a solution for, and a better understanding of what they value in a company, product or service. Before jumping into any business, you need to understand who you will be selling your products or services to, which is where marketing research comes in. If you have time, you can conduct the research yourself online or through government agencies. Otherwise, you can hire a marketing research firm to do all of this legwork for you.

3. Don’t Try to Please Everyone

The biggest mistake you can make when deciding what your niche will be is trying to be a master of everything instead of specializing in a certain area. For example, if you are promote yourself as a general plumber instead of specializing in one area, you will be advertising your business among a large amount of competing companies instead of standing out in one specialized area. Having an area that you are an expert in will set you apart from the competitors and will attract a more targeted audience for better results.

4. Know Who Your Competitors Are

Make a list of all your competitors to get an idea of how competitive the industry is. Once this list has been made, determine what it is that sets you apart from the competition. Do you provide a service, feature or product that can’t be found with the ‘other guy’? How do your prices differ? If you have something that your customers won’t find with any other company, make sure they know it.

5. Determine the Profitability of the Niche

After following the previous 4 tips, you probably have a ballpark idea of what niche you would like to market your business in. Once you have a niche idea, it’s time to determine how profitable it is. If the niche has little to no competition, there could be a reason for it. Make sure the time and money invested into it is worthwhile before deciding to market yourself as an expert in that specified area.

Trade shows, social media, and word-of-mouth are all effective ways to get your company’s niche into the minds of your target audience. These tips will help you come up with the perfect niche for your business.