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Denny’s Daily Zinger: Be a Niche Entrepreneur! Make Money. Get Noticed.

August 25, 2014 By Denny Hatch
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As readers of this cranky publication may remember, in 1984, Peggy and I started WHO'S MAILING WHAT!

The newsletter and archive service were aimed at a niche—junk mailers and copywriters.

Our 30th anniversary is this coming October.

"I think maybe I would like to start a business."
These 10 words are frequently uttered by newly-minted MBAs who have knowledge of business but no job.

My advice: become a niche entrepreneur.

What triggered this column was a New York Times story about Gary Tjader, founder of ThisOldToilet.com.

Where I collected junk mail, Gary collects antique toilets and sells the parts to house fixer-uppers.

In my massive private archive, I have an idea file of niche entrepreneurs. Here are offbeat ideas that might start MBAs' creative juices flowing:

• Jim Bintliff, who sells "Lena Blackburne Baseball Rubbing Mud." It has been used in the American League since the late 1930s and on every ball in the majors for the last 50 years.

• Fredrik Hjelmquist, CEO of Pause. His product, $31,228,00-and-up coffins rigged with stereo sound systems to play music forever. "Hi-fi is my biggest passion in life and I will take it to the grave."

• Tom Szaky, founder of TerraCycle—plant food made from worm poop.

• Andy Cavanagh, America's foremost baker of Holy Communion wafers for Catholic and Protestant churches.

Takeaways to Consider

  • If it's a true niche, you'll have no competition.
  • "Imitation is the sincerest form of collective stupidity." —Bill Munro

Denny Hatch's new book is "Write Everything Right!" Pat Friesen writes, "This book is guaranteed to help you fine-tune your writing skills, whatever you write. Denny's wit and craftsmanship as an experienced writer/author shine through on every page." Click here to download (opens as a PDF) and read the first three chapters FREE. The title is also available on Kindle. Reach Denny at dennyhatch@yahoo.com.

 

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