Identifying products or services for your online business is very important. Before even diving into business, it is necessary you take time to identify the product or service that you want to market. This is what forms your business.
As we had discussed earlier on Unleashing your passion, passion is the basis of an online business. You will need to identify something that you are very passionate about. Whether is a product or service, group of people, interest, skill or talent, you need to dig deep into yourself and unleash that thing that keep burning inside you. A passion is that fire that keeps on fueling your dreams.
Once you find your passion, then it’s the high time you Identify and select your Niche. Depending on your passion, this can be an easy exercise. Some passions are actually niches. For instance a clinical doctor who has interest in children has children health as her niche. Serving a niche is a key element in online business. It is easier to deal with a niche market than to get heads on with the whole market. Remember that being specific is being terrific.
With your passion and a ready market, it’s easier to identify and/or develop your products and services.
Once you identify the niche market that you want to deal with, then it’s the time to understand what they need. Different niches have different needs. A single niche can have multiple needs too. You do not need to solve all of the needs. You just need to solve one of the needs and solve it satisfactorily.
Solving the market needs
Solving the needs solely depends of your product or service. It’s very important to note that when solving a need, a couple of factors determine the effectiveness of your solution.
- Passion – Your passion creates that favorable environment for your solution to thrive. The more passionate you are the more faith your clients will have in you. Live your market, love the product.
- Knowledge – It’s important you be knowledgeable on the field of operations that you have chosen. You should have very good knowledge of the market and the product or service. When you have information, people will look upon you for solutions.
Mapping Products on Passion
As I said earlier, your product will highly be shaped by your passion. Once you have identified you passion, the market and the products flows in quite easily. It is important to map your product directly on your passion. This helps in seamlessly integrating your products within your dream.
- If you are passionate about a product or service, then it’s straight forward. You have the product.
- If your passion is a group of people, then you need to understand their needs and solve them. You look in what they do not have and they might require and you provide it to them. For example if you are passionate about children, you might decide to provide toys to them.
- Sometime, you can be passionate about a hobby. In this case, you will identify a need among those others who love the hobby. For instance if you are a biker, you might have noticed that most bikers require rain coats. The coats will become the product.
- If you have a talent, your talent becomes the product or service. For instance a footballer will offer soccer as a service.
- If you have a skill, then your skill becomes a service or product. For instance an accountant might decide to offer accounting services or sell Quickbooks software as a product.
Factors to consider when selecting a product
When selecting a product or service to market, there are various aspects you will have to consider:
- You must have a passion for the product or service or the market. Always sell a product that you love and consume. DO NOT sell what you do not like, even if it seems to be profitable. This is the master rule. For instance, if you love beauty and fashion, selling designer perfumes will be great!
- Identify a product or service that is easy to sell. This saves you on spending too many resources on marketing it. Some products are hard to move due to their nature. For instance, if have a passion for children and fashion, it might be easier selling casual than formal clothes.
- Get a product or service that is quality. If you really love the product, then it must be quality. Ensure that whatever you are providing is quality and great! If it’s expensive, you can mark it up higher, but ensure that it is of high quality. Most customers don’t mind paying higher for that quality. Especially once they consume it.
- Mark up your product or service accordingly. Large markups will inflate the product price. Ensure that your prices are reasonable and competitive enough.
- You must select a product or service that is easy to deliver, according to your capability. For instance, do not choose to sell fridges if you do not have a car for delivery.
- The product or service should be needed in the market. Do not try to introduce a new product, especially if you are just starting. Provide what your niche really need. Listen to their needs, don’t impose. Products solve challenges.
- Start off with one product or service or niche before introducing another. While introducing another product, select one that is related to what you are offering; one that you could also offer to the current niche. This helps you in learning and also concentration. For instance, if you are dealing with computers, you can start with the computers sales then later move to computer accessories.
- Make your service prompt and professional. The reason your customers will love you is not only because of your product but also your service. Note that you are in a competitive market, where the products are almost the same. So the only thing that is different is how you delivery your service or product.
- Keeping in touch with your customers. You have bought many products and services from various shops in your locality. Have you ever got a call from the shop manager asking you how you are? That’s the difference you want to make. Select a niche that you could easily communicate with, on at least a weekly basis. This is how you also get repeated business from them. You passion will definitely make your interaction deeper and engaging.
- Long term product. Choose a product or service that you could sell for a longer time. Since you are going to invest into it, it should stay in the market longer enough to return your investment and enable you make money.
- Identify a supplier who will understand you and your market. A good supplier can support you and your business in both good and bad times. Sometime, taking a smaller supplier can provide you with personalized services.
One point to note is that you do not have to produce the product yourself, unless you can do it easily like baking a cake. You just need to identify a good supplier and get the products at wholesale prices. Do not reinvent the wheel. Remember to service your supplier well so that in future when you need to deliver the product to a client and get paid on delivery, the supplier can let you have the product on credit.