London, UK -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/03/2013 -- Businesses come in as many shapes and forms as people. Having said that, when it comes to supply and demand, business models, generally tend to fall into two categories. "8 miles wide and 8 inch deep or the opposite, 8 inch wide and 8 miles Deep"!! What on earth are you talking about I hear you ask?! Well… let me explain:
The former describes businesses selling products and services we all need. For example curtains stores, computer shops, insurance companies, banks… Etc. High competition is a prominent feature of businesses that provide products or services to a mass markets. These kinds of businesses generally compete against each other fiercely for market share and the larger players that have the resources to supply mass markets at low prices often tend to dominate the markets.
The latter in the other hand, can be regarded as the opposite. In other words businesses that fulfil small gaps in the market. Businesses that cater for a limited clientele with unusually high demand due to limited supply. Yes we're talking about "niche businesses".
Niche businesses can come in many shapes and forms and in a variety of industries. Here are a few examples:
- Plus-size clothing
- Ladies large/plus size shoes
- Online dating for disabled people
- Children's furniture
- Plus size maternity clothing
- Insurance for vintage cars
What all of the above businesses have in common is that they all fill in a narrow but highly targeted customer base. All of them meet the needs of a minority group of customers. Hence the use of the "8 inch wide 8 miles deep" expression!
"Many people make the mistake of trying to compete with big players without offering anything unique or even rare", says Peiman Merikhi, the owner of Crispins Shoes, a successful London based plus size shoe store offering high-end, fashionable plus size ladies shoes.
"We sell size 8, 9, 10 and even size 11 ladies shoes. We filled in a gap and that gap was quality plus size shoes for women. There were already a few high street retailers and online stores offering plus ladies footwear, but almost none with the quality to match the best normal sized brands out there. In that sense, you could call our business a niche within a niche! All our shoes are made in Europe and the EU. For us, it's all about quality and size not just producing large size shoes! That combination is the gap we've filled and strive to fill every season of every year." concluded Mr. Merikhi.
There you have it. Niche businesses are very much about meeting needs in areas that are generally more overlooked than others. That's where the opportunity lies. If you're thinking of starting up a business, you may want to consider your own Niche business.
About Crispins Shoes
In 1978 Dawne Gutteridge opened Crispins Shoes in Chiltern Street ,London W1, specialising in elegant shoes for larger sizes and named it appropriately after St Crispins, the patron saint of shoemakers.