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!
History is the study of human past with special attention to written records. As we all know, most historical events have been witnessed by the whole world since time immemorial and passed down through words, recorded discussions and documented evidences. Without history, man will be devoid of references to didactic lessons and acts of precedents that are whether to be emulated or avoided.The study of history paves the way for man to be aware of circumstances leading to disasters or catastrophic consequences, at the same time providing leaders of nations to avoid similar conflicts that had inflicted unbearable dire consequences in the past from repeating. The term ‘history repeats itself’ is ironic and this irony is a direct result of the failure to study history. Unfortunately, nowadays, the subject history struggles for survival in both schools and universities which mean students take history for granted as a lengthy, wordy, boring subject that holds no significance for advancing tertiary education. Some also believe that the study of history has no practical purpose for daily survival. Students need to be made aware that history is not mere records of past events but also a documentation of facts that serves educational purposes to mankind throughout. I would liken history to a great teacher educating us in the name of experience.History takes man on a journey of pathos, joy, victory, defeats, revolutions and heroism. It provides concrete instructions to man to learn from past events. In history, the documentation of past events are written and documented neatly so that it could provide lessons to human beings on not to repeat past mistakes. For instance, we all know about what happened during World War II. Nations fought, each with its own justifications to go to war. Many lives were lost, mostly innocent people were killed, lots of traumas, destruction of properties, homes and people being displaced, and the mass pollution caused by an assortment of weapons being paraded as one’s pride of invention, which were used indiscriminately during the war. If we retrospect, we would not want to have a repetition of such tragedies in the future. By learning and digesting the way past events had taken place, we are given the liberty to make a choice, whether to further extend the destruction or to prevent it so that there will not be any repetition of such worse kind.Besides that, history introduces civilized manners to man on the ethics of ‘how one should live life’. This opens man to the various religious doctrines and dogmas that had evolved throughout time. We learn not only the people of a certain nation, but also the history of the country itself by scrutinizing the subject of history. Time and time, the lessons learned in history hold solid to the notion that diversification of races and religions should not be the dividing factor among the human race, as human emotions are universal. Discriminating people due to geographical reasons is another act of stupidity as pain, sorrow, trauma, joy, suffering and disease are traits and plights that affect everyone be they black, white or brown or be they from northern or southern hemisphere.Another leaning of history is that it had paraded noble, humble, witty and altruistic leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, who opened the door for peace and despised ‘an eye for an eye’ notion of revenge. Gandhi gave the world the word ‘ahimsa’ literally means non-violence. His struggles, based on this concept of Christ, also gained him the title of ‘Mahatma’ or The Great Soul. From history, we were also made aware that not all whites supported slavery. Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States of America, who helped the blacks gained freedom, was a revered figure in historical annals, subsequently being remembered as one of the finest US Presidents of all time. The depiction of various individuals as great beings, worthy of emulation teaches us the traits that one should possess, to be exemplary and not obnoxious in society. Therefore, history has a pivotal role in humanity, to configure a present individual’s character, traits and development based on the precedent set many years ago.One of the most valuable characteristic of history is that it teaches man the absolute truth; it beholds the truth of life-the truth of birth and death. Alexander the Great conquered almost half of the world’s lands before breathing his last. His last wish was to have two holes made on both sides of the coffin, and his hands, each one lay on each side of the hole. Alexander, the great conqueror, leaves the world with nothing, just like how we came to this world – ‘naked’. History opens the mind of the readers to a broader perspective of how one is able to view his surroundings and be philosophically involved in facing life challenges.Moreover, history provides man with ways to progress forward. History is the catalyst for being non-idleness. Through history we know how man had progressed from living in the caves, eating raw food, the discovery of fire, tasting cooked food, and then gradually progressing onto the modern era in which we are living now. By this record, we know that mankind became better and better each time they challenged themselves, facing those challenges and overcoming those challenges. We also made technology as one of the most dependent tools that we are able to depend on each time there is a need to shift our paradigm. It shows that human beings keep progressing and because we know it through our engagement with history, we will be consistently transforming to the better in the future.Michael Crichton, the famous US writer once said, “If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.” Another historical protagonist, Confucius, an influential Chinese philosopher, teacher and political figure of the 4th century B.C. said it fittingly that one must study the past if one would define the future. Definitely, history holds the key for a progressive future of mankind.