A lot of business trends fizzled in 2012. Social gaming was all hype, daily deal growth was unsustainable and the market is concerned that Facebook doesn’t get mobile. When you look at Zynga, Groupon or Facebook they’re all very sexy public companies. They raised a ton of VC, scaled their user bases, hit the market, stock went up and then real life hit. The companies are sexy, but is that what you really want?
Short rant: Gifting on Facebook’s mobile application shows their desperation. They recently starting jamming this on your newsfeed, but it’s so fundamentally flawed. You probably only buy 5% or less of your Facebook friends gifts for their birthday. Doing so through a mobile application eliminates the personal experience that is gifting. We don’t go to Facebook for gifts, we go there to kill time. Carry on.
I speak with a lot of people who have these grandeur ideas of linking pictures to videos to webcams and whatever else. I ask them, how do you plan on making money and their answer is well….. I don’t like it. You can actually build a company that’s profitable from day one. You don’t have to raise venture capital, buy a bunch of inventory or rent out a place in a trip mall. I’ll say it again… you can start a business that’s profitable from day one.
In business you have to be bold…
But I don’t think I’m overstating anything when I go on the record to say that niche software will be the number one small business trend in 2013. For internet marketers there are already millions of examples like Long Tail Pro, Market Samurai, Leadplayer or Popup Domination.
As development costs continue to decrease, you’ll see more and more of these software applications being built for different industries that fall outside of the hardcore internet users.
What is niche software?
Niche software is taking existing technology and adapting it specifically to a niche markets needs. In the niche market, a solution does not exist or it has not been readily adopted.
What are some ideas for niche software?
[wp-like-locker]I plan on using the Grasshopper virtual phone system for my business. It allows you to sound like a fortune 500 company, while actually routing all of the calls to employee cell phones. So an idea could be to take the Grasshopper model and position it so that it’s made only for landscapers.
Ex. You build Landphone, the virtual phone system customized for landscapers. Communicate with clients, route employees and more while sounding like a Fortune 500 company. Maybe it includes an email marketing component too. All existing technology, but packaged for landscapers.
But couldn’t they just sign up for Grasshopper themselves?
Yes, they could. Just like you could cook yourself a cheeseburger but it’s easier to go to a restaurant. As consumers we don’t care about the details, we just want the solution.[/wp-like-locker]
Here’s what niche software does.
- It takes the pain out.
- Delivers an optimized solution.
- Then charges for it.
But Ben I have no idea how to code software?
I don’t know how to code either but I’m only a month or two away from launching my own niche software. The coding and design have been outsourced, but because you’re working with existing technology and pivoting it the cost is minimal. More focus should be placed on the customer acquisition, marketing funnel and sales.
Why I absolutely love this business model…
The only startup cost you’re looking at is for the design and development of the minimum viable product. Before you even make that investment you can test the model by cold calling or setting up a squeeze page and driving traffic with adwords.
Compared to something like an e-commerce store, you have zero dollars tied up in things like inventory or storage. You don’t have to tie up money in inventory and you don’t have to worry about shipping products.
Basically there is minimal risk and unlimited earning potential for a super targeted product. It’s hard to sell widgets when everyone needs widgets. Easy to sell widgets when you can search in Google to find a directory of every landscaper in your area.
Low startup costs / minimal overhead + clearly defined target market + unlimited earning potential = niche software
Learn how to start your own niche software business.
Still interested? Then you have to listen to these interviews with people who are killing it!
- Have a software idea but no developer? (Mixergy)
- Building a lucrative business with no ideas, no expertise and no money with Dane Maxwell (SPI)
- How to build a web based product without any idea, limited cash or development experience (Foundation)