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5 Steps to Carving Out a Niche Business While you should always strive to offer high-quality products and great service to your clients, being the best at something can be harder than being the first to arrive to a new category or niche.

By Brian Ainsley Horn Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There are many strategies you can employ to get ahead of your competition, and these are often based around offering a better service or product than your competitors. While you should always strive to offer high-quality products and great service to your clients, being the best at something can be harder than being the first to arrive to a new category or niche.

How do you go about carving out a niche business? The answer is to define your own "micro-specialization," or the ability to become an expert on a specialized topic and target a certain subset of niche within an established industry.

Related: Why Quitting a Great Job Was the Best Decision

Here are five steps to finding your own micro-specialization:

1. Define your industry or knowledge base.

Before you can find a niche within a broad market, you have to first determine what market you aim to enter. An example of a market could include, the medical field, banking or investing, the fitness industry or marketing, just to name a few.

2. Break broad market into a specific niche.

Once you have defined your broad base field, you can move on to more specific areas within the field.

A great way to explain this is to consider the general area of Internet marketing. When trying to break this down into a specific niche, you could focus on just ecommerce sites and site structure or you could zero in on content development, which might involve coaches and/or speakers.

As you can see, each of these niches are very specific which is what you want. When you narrow it down to this much, you are sure to find many clients who need your services.

Related: 5 Steps to Build a Million-Dollar Business in One Year

3. Put your specialty to the test, using the SPAN method.

The SPAN method is a simple four-step process I developed to help clients through the process of determining if their micro-specialization is feasible.

Subtopics: Is there enough subject matter to warrant an expert? Determine if there are enough subtopics within your specific niche. A great way to accomplish this is putting your subject in Google and then looking at "related searches." Searching for books on the topic through sites like Amazon is also helpful.

Pain: Will your service or product help people in pain? No, this doesn't necessarily mean physical pain. It simply means there is a "need" that merits attention, a problem that needs to be solved. If there isn't a need in your chosen specialty, your chance of success dramatically decreases.

Attainable: Is what you are offering truly attainable? Be brutally honest with yourself during this step. Can you actually do the service or offer the product that these people need to fix their problem, easing their pain? If you do not feel you can solve their problem, you should find another micro-specialization.

Numbers: Is there a big enough market to bother entering? A great way to determine this is to look for Google ads which will indicate if other people are spending money in an effort to attract an audience within your chosen niche. You can also utilize platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn to gauge a specific market's popularity.

4. Become an educator and advocate for the success of your prospects.

Be the contact for your prospects when it comes to high-quality information about your chosen specialty. The best way to accomplish this task is utilizing elements such as podcasting, blog posts, making a video, SlideShare or writing a book. Make sure to add new content at least once a week.

5. Make sure your content is in front of new people.

Getting your content in front of new people on a regular basis is a requirement for success. To do this, guest post for other sites in your general niche (but ones that are not offering competing services).You should also regularly pitch yourself to radio shows and podcasts.

Being number one in an industry will often require late nights and early mornings. However, when you arrive at your goal and you begin to reap your rewards, you will be thankful for all the hard work you put in to make it happen.

Related: Build a Million-Dollar Startup On a One-Year Deadline (Video)

Brian Ainsley Horn

Author and Co-founder of Authority Alchemy

Brian Horn is an author and co-founder of branding firm, Authority Alchemy. He transforms business owners using the process of “authority marketing.”

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