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Have you seen the movie The Social Network? If you haven’t, here’s a quick recap: It’s about how Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook and eventually became one of the most notable entrepreneurs of his generation.

When he first started his venture, Zuckerberg’s goal wasn’t the current world domination he has achieved within social media. Originally, he created a website so that students at Harvard University could rate each other’s level of attractiveness (he was a college kid back then, after all).

Fast forward to today. It’s unnecessary to describe how much his little experiment has grown. However, we can still learn a lot from how it was started. Mark Zuckerberg began with a niche, and that was his first step towards developing what his business has become today.

So how do you develop your niche? Let’s take a look:

Make sure you like what you do

We spend most of our waking time doing our jobs. If you own your own business, you have an around-the-clock gig. If you don’t love what you do, when the going gets tough, you’ll be tempted to quit.

Steve Jobs made it clear when he addressed the Stanford class of 2005. He encountered many hurdles and hardships on his way towards becoming a legend. What kept him going was that he loved what he did.

Don’t pick a hot trend that could end up being a flash in the pan. Carefully study areas that make you want to immerse yourself in them.

Decide with whom you want to work

What’s the purpose of your business? Doctors and lawyers tend to specialize on specific areas of health or law, which patients and clients with clear-cut issues appreciate.

Nobody wants to hire a jack-of-all trades. Narrow down your target market so that you can focus better on their specific needs. If you don’t want to work with people who can’t rub two pennies together, make it clear that your target client makes XYZ amount in revenue per year.

What are your competitors failing to offer?

Once you establish your target, zoom in on their needs by doing some market research. For example, you can go to discussion forums and see what people are complaining about. Is it that their cordless headphones have a short battery life, or stop working while it’s raining?

Go ahead and figure out how to solve those issues, then market your long-lasting, waterproof headphones for long distance runners. (Or something along those lines… You get the point).

Once you have these three items down pat, don’t fall asleep thinking you’ve made it. Keep your eyes out for new developments, new technologies, new ways to improve your product or service, and ways to adapt to new trends as they come along. Stay hungry. Stay foolish.

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