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Strategies for finding gaps in the market

Becoming self-employed is back in fashion. According to the current KfW start-up monitor, the number of business start-ups rose again for the first time in around five years. However, in order to get off to a successful start as a founder and to survive in the market in the long term, a lot will happen provided: e.g. B. a brilliant business idea that serves a market niche if possible. But how do you find them?

Example: Two female founders use a niche in their employer’s market

Founders who have found a gap in the market have usually hit the jackpot for the success of the company foundation, since with the business idea missing offer, for which there is a great demand in the market, can be compensated. The two founders of the start-up Tvey, Anna-Lena Busch and Saskia Detering, knew this too, when they found out from their ex-employer that there were lots of different creams and lotions for the face, hands and body – but so far only for the feet Ointment for cracks. However, this is more of a medical product and discourages the purchase. Their application is also rather difficult, because applying cream leaves sticky fingers and it is difficult to walk afterwards.

Thus the business idea for the lifestyle foot cream was born. These are currently available in three variants including an applicator to make it easier to apply. The two founders secured the financing of the company foundation with their own funds, i.e. without outside capital (bootstrapping).

Use strategies to find a gap in the market

There are many new business ideas, but the promising niche in the market is not always right in front of you, as it is with the two business founders. If you haven’t found your brilliant business idea yet, but would like to do the same as the two founders, you should go to certain strategies put in support.

1. Find problems with Painspotting

One strategy for finding a gap in the market is so-called painspotting, which derives from “pain” (pain) “spot” (discover). The purpose of this method is to find out the problems or difficulties of a specific target group and to develop a solution for them that consumers are willing to pay for. The easiest way to find out where the shoe pinches is to first examine this target group in detail. If you have found a specific problem, you can then use this as the basis for further action. But not only the problems of a target group are suitable for the search for a business idea. Business ideas can also be developed based on your own needs.

2. Copycat – Copy successful business ideas

A second way to find a niche in the market is to copy a business idea that is already successful abroad. Here there is the possibility to take over the complete business model or only a part. Although the copycat strategy is controversial in the start-up world and is not exactly considered the ideal way to set up a business, it does have a decisive advantage: the feasibility of the business idea has already been proven and the founders know that the business model can make money.

3. Research the competitor’s point of view with the positioning cross

The aim of this strategy is to identify the positioning of the competition and thus to discover possible gaps in the market. A positioning cross (external link) can help. Here, a cross is drawn that names the performance characteristics of the corresponding market. While the x-axis here z. B represents the price, the y-axis represents the quality of the product. It is now a matter of sorting the existing products and finding out where there are still gaps in order to position oneself there.

4. Digital transformation of products or services

Digitization is progressing and is becoming increasingly important in our society. Another method is for founders to consider which basic needs can be digitized. Of course, it is not possible to digitize all business ideas completely, but it may be enough to simplify individual processes or intermediate steps through digitization.

4. Explore new markets with the Blue Ocean strategy

With the help of this strategy, new business ideas are developed in previously untapped markets. Instead of fighting with competitors for customers, competitive advantages and market shares, the aim is to create new markets where there is no competition. This is achieved by expanding the boundaries of existing markets, opening up new markets, recognizing and satisfying unmet customer needs.

Realize your business idea with start-up advice

The search for a suitable business idea and its realization is not easy these days. However, founders should not let that stop them from taking the step of “going independent” if they have discovered a gap in the market. Because with the right start-up consultant, the chances of success are very good. This helps with the implementation and the creation of the business plan. Business start-up advice is also funded, with up to 70% of the costs incurred.