A new year, a new business plan? Jeff Bezos would agree, as he's been a serial startup investor through the years. However, as an entrepreneur, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the niches-in-niches (it's a veritable niche Inception out there right now)--and not know where to apply themselves. So, what do you do?

How to Determine the Right Entrepreneurial Path

To take the entrepreneurial plunge, you must solve a problem within the market which you or your business now has a solution to. That said, preparation is key and you should first ask yourself:

  1. Do you understand the economic impact involved?

  2. Have you conducted adequate market analysis and research to validate the need?

  3. Do you have an understanding of a marketing strategy and what is required to build the reputation of your product/service/offering?

  4. Have you considered the timing associated with the new venture?  

  5. Do you possess the right management and leadership skills to drive the business or product?

If you take a look at some of Bezos's investments, he shows a preference for products and services that are:

  • scalable online and allow for first mover advantage (i.e., a little site called Amazon)

  • capable of solving problems for the masses

  • concentrated on industries that are timely

  • innovative (always)

  • providing consumers exactly what they want

If you feel good about the above, consider these three ways to spark your own inner disruptor.

1. Become a nutripreneuer

Out of Bezos's investments, he's keen on health. 2018-2019 marks a time period in which B2B (business-to-business) startup support companies are catching up with available technologies and offering a ton of value to bootstrapping entrepreneurs. If you are health-minded, supplements are one niche area in which this is hyper-evident and it may be a good fit for you. Have no idea where to start? The key is finding a supplement manufacturer who has a solution that is fit for a business startup. Custom Nutra is one example of a B2B company that offers options to dietary supplement startups, from manufacturing to assisting entrepreneurs to private label your own brand, end-consumer drop-shipping, and marketing.

These kinds of services only accentuate the appeal of an online-based dietary supplement business, which, in many cases, is already a relatively low cost/high-value opportunity (perfect for entrepreneurs lacking substantial capital).

Partnering with a company that can bring your product or idea to life, understands typical startup pains, and offers low-risk support accordingly (pre-launch and post-launch solutions, marketing, lead generation, and inventory management) may lead you to the proverbial golden goose. Why supplements? Consumers are more interested than ever in health, with the global supplement market projected to grow 9.6 percent by 2024. 

2. Take your talents to a niche e-commerce vertical

Bezos loves e-commerce--no question about it. And if one thing is clear, in this day and age, we really, really want things brought to us. If you need more proof than Amazon, the market for subscription products and services has increased by more than 100 percent a year for the past five years. Meanwhile, traditional retail (the go-out-and-get-it-yourself kind) has been on the decline. Subscription boxes (the adult version of L.O.L toys) are at the forefront of this new paradigm.

They're also a great space for entrepreneurs, and I can think of three reasons why:

  1. Startup costs are low--especially thanks to niche vendors that are clamoring (and offering major deals) for their products to be included in your boxes.

  2. They generate predictable income from month-to-month, an invaluable benefit for anyone, but especially bootstrapped entrepreneurs.

  3. The model makes for an excellent opportunity to establish long-term customer loyalty via something as simple as customized messages placed in each box.

3. Create value for your own industry

If you're already in an industry providing a specific service or offering, you should have a good understanding of customer pain points and where a value-add solution could help fill a void. Take weddings, for example. Globally, they constitute a $300 billion industry. An insider and expert, Jennifer Brisman, chief planning officer of jennifer brisman weddings newyork, says that traditional wedding planning isn't cutting the cake anymore, and that contemporary couples want high-quality, DIY wedding planning tools in addition to professional support.

Brisman notes that there is an increasing need for intuitive, forward-focused wedding planning products and that it represents an amazing frontier for entrepreneurs--especially for a growing industry. Brisman recognized this and founded VOW, an online, budget-friendly wedding planning tool to supplement her efforts.

The takeaway? Leverage your industry knowledge and consider how you can create a solution to differentiate your existing offering and create staying power for both you and your customers.

A more entrepreneurial you awaits

If we can identify any overarching themes within the opportunities these niches seek to capitalize on, they probably boil down to our collective obsession with convenience, immediacy, and quality. As consumers, we're more informed than ever. We know what we want--and what we don't want to pay for. As entrepreneurs, these niches are ripe for the picking.

Published on: Jan 23, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.