Knowing how to spot a gap in the market is a lucrative skill. Think about Sara Blakely. When she spotted the gap in the market for women’s support underwear, she probably didn’t ever imagine that it would be the vehicle to make her a billionaire and reach millions of people around the world.
Knowing how to spot the gap in the market is actually a skill that you can develop. And there are two main ways to do this. The first is with your head, and the other way is with your heart. Let’s take a closer look at each of these methods …
Spotting a Gap in the Market Using Your Head
- Look at what the research data is telling you. This is all about looking closely at the numbers; looking at statistics, looking at the demographics of a particular audience and seeing how many people have a certain problem and what they’re currently spending to solve that problem.
- What’s already selling in your marketplace? A lot of this information is available to you through Google. For example, it’s easy to go to Amazon and see lists of their best sellers, and there are strong indicators in your niche of what’s doing well and what isn’t.
Spotting a Gap in the Market Using Your Heart
- This is about listening and paying attention to your target customers. What is it that they are most struggling with? Like, what is keeping them up at night? What are they preoccupied with? Or what are they saying to themselves first thing in the morning? The more you can get inside their mind and understand what’s going on for them, the better positioned you’re gonna be to spot a gap in the market.
I’d like to share a story that happened when I started my first business, over 20 years ago. I had been learning about NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and I had been applying it to my career as a sales person with phenomenal results. And I’m the sort of person who, when I get something that’s really working, I just wanna share it with as many people as possible.
So I decided that I was gonna branch out on my own and I was going to do sales training. What I wasn’t prepared for was the amount of competition and how many other independent sales trainers there were in the marketplace. But then an interesting thing was occurring to me as I was getting my business off the ground. I had not one, not two, but several people approach me at different times and say, “Bernadette, I’ve heard that you’re really great at cold-calling, can you help me with this.”
Well, I’m a bit slow on the uptake sometimes, because it must have been by the time that the sixth person approached me, that the penny finally dropped and I’m like, “Oh, this is interesting. I’m trying to sell sales training as this general thing, and yet these people keep coming up to me and they’re asking for something really specific, cold-calling. And it just so happens I do have expertise that can help them with this.” So I decided to put together a training program which was just one-day, teaching people everything I knew about how to have more success with cold-calls. It was a great success, and that course actually went on to become my niche in my first offline business. I got known for being the U.K.’s top cold-calling trainer at the time. And it was through those steps that led me directly to having the online business that I do today.
So, you really need to pay attention. If you don’t feel that the market is beating a path to your door for what you’re currently focused on – that’s really important feedback. You’re getting a really important clue and you might want to start to pay attention to what you hear, especially to the things or issues that are coming up time and time again in your conversations with people, online or offline.
I hope this has helped you get clearer on how to spot a gap in your market. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments in the comments below…