I received the following email from one of my ezine readers. He asked a question I am sure is on most peoples mind who want to start a small business.
What Do I Sell?
I have been thinking for a long time about what to sell from a web page, I just can't come up with any good ideas. I have read it many times before, what the gurus says, it's all about setting up a web page with something that I'm interested in & some things that motivates me.
I have lots of interests, but guess what, I just can't see how I can make any money on them.
So that's my problem, I just can't come up with any good idea, so I just feel a bit frustrated about this.
Do you have any advice, what to do in my case?
By the way, I really enjoy receiving your newsletters, thanks for putting them out.
What to sell?
That is a question I hear a lot from clients, ezine readers and visitors to my website. They are eager to start a business; but the only thing holding them back is. . . What to sell?
As John mentions in his very first paragraph, he's read many times that it is always a good idea to pick an area that you have an interest in.
This is true for several reasons:
1. You will be motivated to work at your business because you love what you are doing.
2. Also when the going gets rough (and it will) you are more likely to stick with it instead of giving up.
3. If you like what you are doing, it won't seem like work and may even be fun.
When you can combined your work and your livelihood, that is true bliss.
How many times have you heard an actor or sports celebrity remark in an interview that they not only are doing what they love but getting paid to do it.
Most of my working life has been devoted to self employment. I did, for the most part, what I loved and it rarely seemed like work. For over 25 years I was a Cabinet Maker and woodworker. It was my hobby, my livelihood and my passion.
If you have such and interest and/or passion for something, consider how you can relate this to someone else with the same interest and make money doing it.
You don't necessarily have to do the thing, perhaps you can just teach someone how to do it or write about it and sell the information. “How-To" info products are one of the best sellers on the Internet.
For example take my cabinetmaking. I don't necessarily have to build or sell cabinets online. I am sure there are a lot of people who would pay for information on “how-to" layout and build cabinets from someone who has built cabinets.
I didn't exactly do that with cabinetmaking in my online business; but I did draw on my experience of 30 years of running a small business to counsel others how to do it for themselves. Add to that the Internet and you have the makings of a small business selling to a world wide audience.
So lets answer that question: "What to sell?"
There are many products to sell from a website. Here are just a few ideas:
The Internet gives you a great opportunity. You can learn as you earn. By that I mean you can sell other peoples products and earn a commission while you learn how to market a product, build a website and run a small business.
Affiliate programs have been around since the Internet started spawning small business seekers. It is a good way to get your feet wet, so to speak, while learning the ins and outs of Internet marketing.
You don't need to spend the time, effort and expense to produce your own product. If you promote some good affiliate products you can earn some good money as you learn how to run your small business.
I have been an affiliate for several companies since I started marketing online in 1999 and I am still making money with them today.
Do your homework, and don't over do it by signing up for every affiliate program on the web and you can make some serious money. It will require some work and effort on your part; but isn't that how you learn and prosper?
Products with Resale Rights
Products with resale rights, such as ebooks and software are becoming very popular lately as a way to sell someone else's products and keep 100% of the sale instead of a small affiliate commission.
With the right products and the proper promotion, you can have a profitable small business online.
With the resale rights, you basically own the products you are selling and therefore have more control over your product line than you do with an affiliate program.
In some instances you can also buy the Master Resale Rights which means you can, not only sell the product and keep all the profit; but you can also make more by selling the Resale Rights.
You should however, be aware that if it is a good product, you will have lots of competition. After all the person who sold it to you also sold it to a lot of other people.
So to increase your chances of success, you will have to go one better than your competition and offer something that they don't along with the product you are selling.
Use your imagination and be creative. That's called marketing.
Franchises have been around for as long as someone has had a good idea and allowed others to sell his idea under his name for a price, of course.
Some that come to mind are McDonald's, Wendy's, KFC, etc. you get what I mean.
Franchises have not been a real big draw online because in order to get a really good franchise you have to make a large investment. But they are around and if they are established will save you a lot of time branding your product.
Plus the parent company will help you with your marketing efforts.
Your Own Info Products
Of course, there is nothing like having your own product to sell.
With your own products, you will have total control over your business enterprise. From pricing to promotion to total profits.
You can then have your own affiliate program and have thousands of people selling your products for you. Plus you can make more money selling the resale rights if you wish.
Thanks to the Information Age and the Internet, it is a lot easier to produce your own products. If your skills and abilities are unique? If you have been alive for any length of time? Your experience is of value and worth something to somebody.
Take what you know or what you have experienced and find a niche of other people interested in the same thing or want learn about it and you have a business with your own info product.
There is a lot on the Internet to help you create your own products. It just takes a little time and effort. But then doesn't anything worthwhile?
Sell “Stuff" on eBay
eBay and the many other auction sites online are not necessarily just to sell junk you got out of Grandma's attic. It can also be a business.
There are people making a living selling things on online auctions. And a good living at that.
There are some rules and regulations; but the exposure is greater than you could muster with your own website.
There is a lot of information in the form of websites, ebooks and print books on the subject.
I am sure there are many more things to sell from a website that I haven't mentioned here but these should get you brainstorming ideas.
Here is one more piece of advice I will share with you that is a sure fire way to have a successful product to sell.
One of the best ways to start a business is NOT to come up with a product to sell and then find people who want to buy it; but to find a NEED that people have and create a business (or product) to fill that need.
Here is an extreme example to make my point.
People who are thirsty will buy water at any price; however, people who are not thirsty will not buy water no matter how you try to sell it to them.
Or to put it another way: “You can't sell ice to an Eskimo!"
Fill a need or solve a problem and you will have a profitable business.
One last thought. The Internet will allow you to try different things and fail and then try something else, without a large investment.
I know it is not easy and at times it can be overwhelming; but the worst thing you can do is NOTHING.
About the Author - Jim Capobianco, the author of “10 Steps to Your Own Home-Based Business", has been self-employed for over 25 years, both on and off line. At his web site, Cap-Tech.com and in his newsletter, The Cap-Tech Times, he shares his experience and expertise when it comes to owning your own business. Come pay a visit at: http://www.cap-tech.com