A well-worn trope of boring business advice is that “There’s Riches in Niches” – a sentiment that sounds cool, especially in America where those two words rhyme (in Australia ‘niche’ rhymes with ‘quiche’, which is less impressive).

In my experience, ‘Riches in Niches’ suffers from survivor bias – looking at a successful business with a strong niche and then deciding that was the important factor, which is like concluding that lottery tickets are a great investment by only researching lottery winners.

Sometimes, particularly for start-ups, niching is a bad idea. Choosing and pursuing a niche too early in your business journey (or with a spin-off product or service) can drive you off the road, into a ditch, and possibly see you investing your last energy and cash into a focused market that will never work.

Remarkably, many of the most successful niche businesses never set out to a niche at all. It was only by going wide to market and being responsive to demand that they were able to stumble across an opportunity that wasn’t even visible from the outside.

In this week’s episode, I will share some real-world examples of just those companies. And then share with you an awesome list (thanks in part to this great book by Mark Lenthall) of all your possible niche choices with a guide on how to identify and choose a profitable niche, not a misleading ditch.


Originally authored by Jacob Aldridge.