A great farm story about “knowing your niche” from our favorite farming entrepreneur….

As a vegetable farmer, I know all about selling things people don’t want. One time, we had a big root vegetable surplus. My farm manager got on a kick of trying to convince people that what they wanted most in the world was to buy a rutabaga. Let me tell you, it doesn’t matter how passionate you are about rutabagas, they just aren’t going to make you a fortune. Because let’s face it. Most people don’t like vegetables, and especially not soft-ball sized orange root balls that they don’t know how to cook.

When it comes down to it, it’s a whole lot easier to sell products people already want than to convince them that they want what you have.

But how do you know what people want?

The first thing to ask yourself is, “Is anyone else selling this?” If there is nothing like your product on the market, you might want to reevaluate. It could be that you are the first person to have a brilliant idea. But, more likely, someone else tried it, and, for whatever reason, it didn’t work.

Then, think about who would buy your product. Paint a picture for yourself. How old is this person? Male or Female? What sort of job do they have? What do they do for fun? Where do they hang out? Be thorough. If you can’t come up with a picture of this person, he or she might not exist.

If you can come up with a picture of this person, great. Now, why would they buy your product? Does your product solve a problem that they face? Is that problem pressing?

The 5 biggest BUY triggers:

Here are five powerful reasons why people buy, which might help you answer this question:

  • Money (both saving it and making it)
  • Time (saving time and freeing it up)
  • Relationships (finding, improving or ending)
  • Health
  • Peace of mind

If you can say: this particular group of people has this problem, and here is how I can solve it, then you probably have something people want.

Sometimes the hardest thing is realizing that our passions are not always marketable. But stay passionate. Grow rutabagas all over your backyard, and take carrots to the farmer’s market. A little reframing can go a long way.