Do you want to start an online business? Do you know that one of the first steps to think about is to decide on your niche? Before I can go any further, let me explain to you what a niche is. Literally, it’s a specific targeted focus on a pre-selected group. It’s an area of your expertise or professionalism that you intend to sell to your targeted customer group. It can also be a particular trend that you want to take a specific group of targeted customers with clear problems or needs for which you have the solution or meet their satisfaction. It’s therefore very important for you to decide on your niche before you start your online business.For instance, in the field of article marketing, there are businesses that write articles for sale online and businesses that provide the service of distributing articles to numerous online directories. There are also businesses that offer free display of articles but earn from other products sold on their websites. All those businesses target, each of them, different customer groups with different specific needs. Focusing on a specific group of customers with specific and clear problems that require your product or service to be solved is a key element to consider before you start your online business.Why do you need to decide on your niche first?Being a jack of all trades and a master of none is one of the causes of failure to most people. You need to focus on a specific group of people with which you can become a master and a known expert. This opens up the opportunity for you to dominate a fraction of the market and to direct all your marketing efforts to that specific area. Remember that spreading wide is one of the reasons why many people, who start an online business, fail to progress.Secondly, concentrating on a fraction of the market helps you to become a known expert provided you have the skills, knowledge and support to do your business. Remember that most people love to buy from experts. A person, who specializes in writing articles for sale, is more likely to establish himself as a known expert in that field than the one who combines several other fields.Doing business without taking time to decide on your niche can lead to spreading yourself wide, which makes you to work too hard to survive the competition. But focusing on a specific area of the market enables you to easily explain to people what you do and what your business is all about. It’s therefore important to decide on your niche before you start your online business.What do you have to bear in mind before you decide on your niche?First of all, decide on a niche where you have a strong demand. Never try out things without carrying out a research to find out what the targeted customer group’s needs are. Get to know more about their needs, their social lives and challenges. Get to know how you can find them and base on the findings to determine what to sell to them to solve their problems. Remember that people buy from you not to please you but to solve their problems.Secondly, get to know your strengths and skills. How much knowledge and expertise do you have to drive your business to success? In which area is your expertise? These are questions that can help you to know yourself so that you do not enter into any business where you have scanty knowledge and where you do not have any skill. A niche where you have more weaknesses than strengths is not for you. Remember that your skills and strengths are important when deciding on your niche.As you decide on your niche, you need to know that the success of your niche depends on several factors, which include among others the following:1. The problem of the customer group you intend to help them to solve. You can only sell your products or services to people whom you can easily attract to buy to solve their problem.2. The size of the targeted customer group. Is it large enough to support your business? If the targeted number of customers is small, then it’s not worth directing your energy to start an online business in a niche where you will struggle to sell your products.3. Which strengths, knowledge and skills do you have to begin the business? It’s important to decide on a niche where you are good at doing something. That’s when you will enjoy the business and that’s when you will find it easier to make a sale.4. Does your preferred niche have the potential to create opportunities for you to be innovative? Does it have a lot of competition? Decide on a niche where you are able to market yourself as the best.5. Do you have the experience to work within that niche? Do you understand the people in the targeted customer group? What do you have to offer to compel people to buy from you? Remember that people prefer buying from experts and those who have ever done it before.6. As you decide on your niche, consideration should be put on the ability and willingness of your targeted customer group to buy your products or services. Are they able to buy? Are they willing to buy? How much can they buy from you? Is the demand in that niche able to sustain you in business?7. What’s so special with you that will draw customers to you? You need to offer something extraordinary, different, better and attractive in order to outcompete your competitors. If you cannot find anything extraordinary to offer in that niche, then better start your online business in another niche.8. Before you decide on your niche, find out whether you will get support within that niche. Are there others you can learn from? Remember that you need support to build a strong business.9. How easy is it to find the potential buyers in that niche? Does it take a lot of resources and effort to convince the people to buy? If you start your online business in a niche where you have to spend enormously to get the customers, it will not only waste your resources but it will also demoralize you.As I conclude, I would like to remind you that before you start your online business or any other business, it’s very important to decide on a niche, where you will best promote your business to success, basing on your strengths and skills. The success of your online business will depend largely on your niche and your expertise. Decide on a niche where you can easily become a known expert!