If you are considering launching a new project, use the following six areas to help you determine if your project is viable and worthy of your time. This may be especially helpful if you are considering multiple projects, as this will allow you to see the benefits & downsides for each of the projects you’re considering.
You can also use the following to create your own assessment guide, if you like to look at things numerically. Simply assign a point value for each of the following and rate project accordingly. Feel free to make a copy of this assessment we created in Google Sheets.
Here are a few considerations to think about when selecting a niche. Choosing the correct niche could be one of the most important decisions made.
Audience Size – How large is the audience size. How many people will visit the site or purchase the product / services
Competition – How competitive is a landscape of this project? How many companies are involved and how difficult will it be to get to the top?
Price Point – Based on this niche what price point will be consumer/client be at. For example are the doctors who have larger budgets were landscapers who have limited budgets?
Passion – How passionate is the target audience? Is this something people love or something people just have to do? People are more passionate about purchasing a new dog vs. looking for someone to repair their roof. How passionate are you about this niche?
Need / Want – Is the solution of being offered more any need or more of a want? People may need in emergency room when they break their leg, or they want to have cosmetic surgery done.
Category – what type of category is this niche in? For example sports, TV/celebrities, pets, hobbies, activities, vacation related, etc.
Promotion / Marketing
The following questions will not only help you create a marketing strategy, but will also help you if and when comparing multiple projects. This will help get a bird’s eye view on the complexity or viability of different project considerations. Admittedly, this is highly geared towards your digital/online marketing efforts.
Content Marketing – How difficult will the content marketing be for this project? Is it easy to find in research information and statistics or opinions related to this project? How sophisticated does the writing need to be?
Social – Will this project succeed through social marketing? Is the target audience currently using social channels already? Will it be difficult to advertise or market to the audience on the social channels?
SEO – From a search engine perspective how competitive is this project our niche? How many people are currently searching for the solution? How difficult will it be to consistently increase the search traffic coming to this website?
Pay Per Click – Is there an opportunity to use pay per click advertising (AdWords, Bing, Facebook, etc) to gain new customers? Do the customer acquisition costs allow you to use pay per click advertising. The highly favorable campaign allows for quick, scalable growth.
Freemium – Does this project allow for a free trial period? Will your customers be able to participate in this project for free or low cost, allowing you to grow your customer base quickly.
Existing Tribe – are there in existing communities in this niche or in a similar niche that will be easy for you to market to? Such as creating strategic partnerships, that you can market your products or services to an existing tribe.
What is being delivered? What is being sold in this project? How are you monetizing the project? Are people paying for advertising/marketing? Are people receiving free information in exchange for viewing ads?
Components Needed – If this is a digital project what components are needed? What code is needed for the project to be successful? Including front end and backend modules.
Product / Service – Will this project be used to sell a product or a service? Is this your product or service or are you in affiliate?
Test Size – How big does your test size need to be? How difficult will it be to find this many people? Can you test your idea in a couple of days or does it need weeks or months?
Upfront Costs – How significant are the upfront costs? This is used to help evaluate the risk.
Upfront Time – How significant is the up front time investment?
Potential / Growth
Max Revenue – What is a realistic maximum revenue expectation? Is this project intended to produce a small amount of revenue that can be replicated or a large amount of revenue?
Time to Reach – How long will it take to reach the maximum revenue expectation? Is this a shorter term project that will generate revenue consistently such as reading a book, or is it something like building a website platform that will grow continually.
Difficulty to Reach – How difficult/realistic do you believe this maximum revenue is? Creating a project that brings in $200 a month may be far less difficult than a project intending to generate five figures a month.
Scalability (time, size, automation) – Based on the factors of time, size, automation; rate the complexity of scalability. What will be needed for this project to scale quickly? Money, time, personnel, industry changes, etc. Are there ways to scale the project automatically such as automated marketing campaigns (adwords, social ads, viral concepts).
Launch MVP – How complex or difficult is it to launch a minimal viable product? How long or how much money will it take to reach this first stage?
How Paid? How will you be paid for this project? How favorable is this payment type? Will you be paid direct from the customer? From an advertising third party, such as google adsense, or from an affiliate house such as commission junction.
How Often? How often are you paid for this project? Are your clients paying annually or monthly? How often does revenue come in and what are the required circumstances?
New Products / Services often? Our new products and services constantly being introduced to the market? What factor will this have on your project? How likely or possible is it that your project can become obsolete or severely threatened by a new competitor in the marketplace?
Ease of Operation
Team Size – How large a team is needed to launch this project, and how frequently will you need to add to your team as the project grows in size and revenue? Is this project able of having a high revenue per employee outcome? Will it be difficult to replace team members if and when they leave?
Automation – How automated is this project? Does it need people every day? Can you leave for days at a time? What downside is possible if left alone?
Risk if Breaks – What are the risks if the project completely breaks? Can it be fixed? Can it be backed up? Will revenue be lost if broken for any period of time?
Live Customer Service vs. FAQ / Forum – Will you need to have live operators and support staff that will take calls and answer questions or can you build out in online platform that answers common questions and allows users to ask in a forum? Can you offer training through pre- recorded videos?
Personnel – Local/Offshore – Are the requirements for your staff’s location? Do you need to hire people locally, nationally or does this project allow for you to hire globally? What are the cost considerations for each of these? What is the risk consideration for each of these?
What needs to be in place, or considered for this project to become a success and stay a success.
Technology – What technology will you be relying on and what will happen if this technology changes? Are these technology requirements expensive? Does your audience need to be using the same technology? Such as smart phones, apps or web browser? Do they need to be participating in a technology community already, such as Facebook, Instagram or snapchat?
Market/Industry Conditions – What are current conditions like in this industry? Are things on the decline, incline or flat? Is this niche growing? Are people spending more money or less money? Could this niche disappear? People will always be wearing clothes, but are not visiting myspace.com or using lycos.com very often.
Trends – Does this project require certain trends to continue? Does this project rely on a modern day fad, something that is hot today and could be gone tomorrow? Is it evergreen?
Shifts in thought – How often are there significant shifts in this industry, and how your potential customers view this niche? Social marketing and SEO change rapidly each year, whereas plumbing and making pizzas stays rather consistent.
Software / Hardware – What software or hardware will you need to launch a project or to keep your project growing? What are the costs associated with this software and hardware? For example, offering professional photographer requires thousands of dollars in an upfront investment. However you can become a coach or consultant by launching a website for free and/or marketing through social networks.