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Do you think the planner niche is already oversaturated?

Cat Lady

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I'm pretty deep into the "planner world" as a consumer myself, and with the following I have from my media/education-based company, I can see some interest in creating a planner for my existing audience. But do folks think the niche just way too over saturated these days? There's a ton out there that have popped up in the past few years.

It seems that most of having a successful planner company is marketing, very little is the actual product.

I launched my book with a kickstarter since pre-sales were an excellent way to test the market + get cash up front to fund a round of production; I'm considering another KS for a planner that would serve my audience, but I don't want to blow my social capital with my audience with a kickstarter campaign unless I feel like there's a good market. Any idea about testing out prior to a kickstarter (perhaps an instagram/FB campaign with a small store setup to accept preorders)?
 

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becks22

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You're right that a lot of it is marketing and not that actual product. There's a ton of crap out there that gets a ton of attention and it really isn't functional. There's still room. I assume you are looking into the girly planner niche with stickers like Erin Condren, Kikki K, etc? If so, yes there is room. It's crowded but if you have a knock out product I would say you can easily make a splash. I drew up plans while in college of a planner with honeycomb shaped boxes that go side by side the weekly view. I liked it just never did anything with it.
 

Rich Wood

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Jun 17, 2018
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Hi, my two cents :)
Every Sunday I sit down with my Moleskine notebook and plot out my week, by listing the days and themes for each day. I then list my highest priority tasks and place them in the days - reserving time for them. I also clump certain activities together, reducing bouncing around. I timebox my e-mails, meetings, and focus on the hardest things first in the morning. I plan my travel routes to minimize wasted effort and time. I place my goals for the week, day under each of the days. And then I think about what activities my employees and suppliers should be working on - highest priority items, to ensure they are aligned with my organizational goals.
This planning on Sunday keeps me grounded, focused and very productive.
The reason I say this, is I've yet to find anything that is structured in such a manner to help me with this other than myself re-creating it each week in my simple notebooks. One page for the plan, another for the activities to put in the plan, and then about 20 free pages to work through the week, before making another plan the next Sunday.
If you could create something similar for business owners, real estate agents, project managers, operation managers, I believe it could be very successful for you.
Best of luck in your product quest.
 

Elif

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Jun 25, 2018
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The key to success in a saturated market, according to Sharp, is change. “Change is a synonym for opportunity. If you don't know what's changing—with your customers, competitors, distribution channels, alternative uses, features and more, your customers will buy from those who do,” she says. And that’s precisely where new businesses have an edge.

“New companies often recognize the gaps that established businesses don't. If they're correct, they gain customers and grow,” Sharp says. “The challenge is not to become like the established businesses who think they know better than the customer. This applies to B2C, B2B and nonprofits.” Larger companies that have been in business for decades are sometimes set in their standards, and it’s more complicated to modify long-standing practices. Small businesses with less rigidity and a smaller organizational hierarchy can often make quick decisions and turn on a dime.
 

rollerskates

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I admit to succumbing to the cutesy part of the planner world and one of the products I sell is for the cutesy loving consumer. However, I think the cutesy part of the planner world is WAY WAY WAY oversaturated. Think about what's not saturated and go from there. There are holes in the marketplace if you look hard enough.
 
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Cat Lady

Cat Lady

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For some reason I didn't get notifications that all you lovely people responded!

I'm not planning on diving into the cutesy/feminine "#girlboss mom" planner world (that is way too saturated) but closer to the Panda Planner, Passion Planner, Bestselfco, Get To Work Book world - small business owner focused, but with a smaller niche focus for my existing audience.

Quite a few people in my current audience have asked for a planner, but not enough to make it a no-brainer (lots of people ask for things they won't actually buy). With a single affiliate link to the Passion Planner, just on a personal level not thru my business (I have a small ~10K/month following on my personal website) I get a small amount of income from folks purchasing it. I personally am always struggling with marketing since it my least favorite part of all the things (despite being a content business) so I hesitate to launch a product that will require paid advertising to sell and likely a fairly large amount of initial inventory to get margins to a good place.

This has been great food for thought. Thank you.
 

rollerskates

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I'm not planning on diving into the cutesy/feminine "#girlboss mom" planner world (that is way too saturated) but closer to the Panda Planner, Passion Planner, Bestselfco, Get To Work Book world - small business owner focused, but with a smaller niche focus for my existing audience.
Good. And I know what you mean about people asking for things. I've received numerous requests over the year for two things in my business and I introduced them and crickets. Then again, I hate marketing and social media with a passion. I need to do what MJ said and come up with a productocray where it spreads by word of mouth.

Good luck! I don't think the nice planners that are more geared towards getting things done are oversaturated. I'm working on a streamlined version myself. My planner is like 2 inches thick. :clench:
 

happybhoy

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Why not try and pre-sell the planner to your website audience? You'll test demand and hopefully get enough to fund the project.
 

Mattie

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I'm not planning on diving into the cutesy/feminine "#girlboss mom" planner world (that is way too saturated) but closer to the Panda Planner, Passion Planner, Bestselfco, Get To Work Book world - small business owner focused, but with a smaller niche focus for my existing audience.
You mean like these types of Planners. She talks about all kinds of planners.
Annie Smith
 

Xeon

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Not sure if it's just me, but I always thought planners are falling out of favor nowadays especially with the younger generation? For myself, I just use G-Suite (calendar, mail, docs, sheets etc.) for everything, never had to touch a piece of paper nowadays.

And if I want to take notes, there's Evernote. I've all these apps installed in my phone and I can do it all on the go. If I change the phone, the data is still there as it's all in the cloud.

I know of a couple of people whose hobby is to collect planners and diaries though.
 

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Iammelissamoore

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One exceptional item I have learnt on this journey, that we often mention, is that over saturation does not mean exclusion.

What it does mean is that there is always room for improvement and/or change within the industry.

If Zuckerberg were to allow MySpace to deter him from creating a better social platform that eventually dominated and even became a trendsetter in the way a lot of people communicate globally, then communicative technology may have taken a different route - maybe it would have been better, maybe it would have been worse, but, the founders recognised they could present something that wasn't being offered by MySpace and they set out, did they think they would have dominated the market the way they did? Maybe not, but, they knew it was worth rolling it out.

You highlighted an interesting observation that most planners are more marketing than actual life solutions. If you have recognised that you can bring genuine solutions to entrepreneurs, and you are recognising ignored needs that desperately should be fulfilled, then, this is something worth exploring further. What are some of the pressing problems separating prospective customers from reaching their goals/solutions? What are some of these solutions you can bring to prospective customers of this industry? What are some additional issues being ignored, that can also assist in having you create an all round complete product/service for your customers? - (Just a few questions for your consideration to take you further) As a customer of the industry, you have one of the best seats, it gives you the opportunity to not only recognise the problems, but to create and implement tangible solutions that can really assist people in attaining their goals successfully.
 
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rollerskates

Silver Contributor
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I've Read UNSCRIPTED
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Jan 10, 2017
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Texas
Not sure if it's just me, but I always thought planners are falling out of favor nowadays especially with the younger generation? For myself, I just use G-Suite (calendar, mail, docs, sheets etc.) for everything, never had to touch a piece of paper nowadays.
Cutesy planners are popular with college students and millennials. Probably not so much with younger men, but definitely with women.

Paper and pen (and stickers!) are so much more satisfying than a screen.
 

Cheefoo

New Contributor
Jun 27, 2018
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Hi, my two cents :)
Every Sunday I sit down with my Moleskine notebook and plot out my week, by listing the days and themes for each day. I then list my highest priority tasks and place them in the days - reserving time for them. I also clump certain activities together, reducing bouncing around. I timebox my e-mails, meetings, and focus on the hardest things first in the morning. I plan my travel routes to minimize wasted effort and time. I place my goals for the week, day under each of the days. And then I think about what activities my employees and suppliers should be working on - highest priority items, to ensure they are aligned with my organizational goals.
This planning on Sunday keeps me grounded, focused and very productive.
The reason I say this, is I've yet to find anything that is structured in such a manner to help me with this other than myself re-creating it each week in my simple notebooks. One page for the plan, another for the activities to put in the plan, and then about 20 free pages to work through the week, before making another plan the next Sunday.
If you could create something similar for business owners, real estate agents, project managers, operation managers, I believe it could be very successful for you.
Best of luck in your product quest.
Hey Richwood, your comments really make sense to me especially on real practical planning. Would there by any chance, you can share of a few sample of your Sunday planning so that all of us can learn from you? Of course, do blank out the important details.
 

Late Bloomer

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If you could create something similar for business owners, real estate agents, project managers, operation managers, I believe it could be very successful for you.
Best of luck in your product quest.
When I worked at a bank a few years ago, I was sent to a Franklin Covey workshop brought in-house. I liked it. Since then I've studied most of the major planners, both paper and software. I've long had an idea for a web site + mobile app that would offer some new features in this area. Compared to existing products, I think I have some ways to better integrate personal scheduling with project management for teams. But I have no idea how to figure out how much people would pay for it. Any suggestions about how to define the business value for this kind of tool?
 

Late Bloomer

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I think the cutesy part of the planner world is WAY WAY WAY oversaturated.
I'm not sure, I know some folks who will buy anything cutesy if there's a cutesy version available! The only reason they don't have cute pink Hello Kitty tires on their car, is that nobody's selling them.
 

Late Bloomer

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Last edited:

Bdenner64

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There are a ton of planners out there. I've used a few of them and haven't been a big fan personally. I think there is still some room but it's not exactly a market I'd be wanting to fight in - so many players already and limited room to value skew. Not the most ideal for a fastlane biz imo.

Just my 2 cents as someone who doesn't really know much about this market so take my opinion with a grain of salt.
 

Late Bloomer

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I've used a few of them and haven't been a big fan personally.
I think the current market is in some ways similar to the market for new diets. David Allen says that the important thing is the self-discipline to regularly track your goals, projects, tasks in a systematic way. It doesn't matter much if you are diligent with paper and pen, or with a custom app, or a spreadsheet, or lists stored as text files on your phone.

But I think a lot of people are looking for a magic bullet solution to feeling overwhelmed. So they always try a new planner the way some people who aren't self-disciplined about nutrition and exercise always try a new diet. Surely this time the tool from outside will give them the results they want, without any uncomfortable effort.

That's not all of it, I believe that planners can be a very empowering tool. But I believe that's part of the appeal.
 

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