You may have a million ideas for the perfect product to sell or you may have trouble brainstorming just one. But before you start crafting a business plan around a product or service, you’ll need to consider the market. When deciding what to sell, it’s all about finding your product niche.
Check out these 5 actionable strategies that will help you find your niche:
1. Figure Out Your Options
What are your options? This is a loaded question. The answer is: everything! You can, theoretically, sell anything and everything. But in order to make a name for yourself, your brand, and your product in a saturated market, you’re going to need to focus and narrow down the options.
In other words, you need to carve out a niche. A niche is a specific category within a category — for example, instead of “retail clothing” you could focus on “monogrammed hand-knitted infant caps.” See the difference?
Not everyone will want your product or service, but that’s ok! The trick is becoming the go-to source for the people that do want it. You want your brand to stand out and be memorable, which means putting your own unique spin on what you’re selling.
So, start by considering what you want to sell and what you have the ability to sell – you probably don’t want to start a bakery if you don’t know how to bake! Then, take a look at the other businesses that sell something similar and look for gaps in their offerings. Say you want to start a coffee shop –you visit the other shops in that area and realize that they aren’t offering fair trade coffee. Your niche might be exclusively selling fair trade coffee products – you can build your brand, your reputation, and your customer base around this. If possible, find several different angles you can take to differentiate your product or service so that you can choose the best one later in the process.
2. Consider Your Customer
So you know what you can sell. Now you need to figure out what you should sell. Who are your ideal customers? What can you give them that no other business can? What do they want? What do they need? Are there enough of them to support your business? Will they be willing to pay the prices you need to be successful?
Do some research to figure out which of your potential options is likely to be your best seller. One of the best ways to do so is to simply go out and meet some people! They’ll be happy to tell you what they want and how other businesses aren’t meeting their needs. Talk to them about your ideas and find out if they’d be interested – they’ll also give you feedback that can help you make your ideas even better! Of course, the other benefit of this kind of research is that it’s free.
3. Crunch The Numbers
When you’re figuring out what to sell, you’ll need to crunch some numbers. The big three (Data, Demographics, and Psychographics) will help you determine what your customers will want to buy and how much they will be willing to pay for it. Formally assess the spending habits, incomes, occupations, and values of your customers to come up with not only ideas for your product, but also pricing structure as well.
If you’re in a high-income area with a large number of two-income households, you may have a higher ceiling for your price point as opposed to an up-and-coming area with young families.
Now compare the pricing structure you think the market will support to the costs of running your business. Will you be able to make enough to turn a profit? You may need to reevaluate your price point and your expected costs to see if you can make it work. If that’s not possible, it’s time to revisit your decision on what to sell. It’s not enough to offer something in a unique niche that people want to buy – you have to be able to make money selling it!
4. Harness Your Passion
If you can create a product you’re passionate about, your customers are going to respond to that and, hopefully, become equally passionate about your business. Passion translates to a compelling brand and to a more credible, authentic product.
Look to the Haver family who capitalized on their passion for family and travel to create their ecommerce site Neck of The Woods, where local artists design children’s clothing so that each of their products is unique and reflects local culture. By combining their interests, expertise, and passion, the Haver family was able to build a business and create products that resonated with their own values and those of their customers.
You can start off by looking for a product niche that can support a business and simply go from there. But choosing something you’re truly passionate about can make the difference between a functional business and a remarkable one – when you care about your work, your products and services are better and your customers can tell the difference.
5. Share Your Uniqueness
How can you make your product stand out amongst the competition? Technology to the rescue! The most exceptional and sought-after products and services won’t do you any good if no one knows about them, so spread the word! In today’s world, this is cheap and easy to do.
You’ll want to create a website that presents your brand and your products and services in an engaging way. You can also create social media campaigns to spread the word and help bring in new customers. Then, encourage your customers to spread the word even further. This kind of grassroots support is extremely effective, especially for unique products and services.
This kind of marketing will give you an additional benefit: tons of data from your website and social media profiles on what your customers are talking about, what they like (and don’t like), and how you can better meet your goals. The decision on what to sell isn’t just a one-time thing – it’s something you should revisit and regularly evaluate to ensure you’re still meeting your customers’ needs. There’s no such thing as a perfect product or service, but the most successful businesses constantly strive for that goal.
Wondering What To Sell? Just Find Your Niche!
Finding the right product to sell is the key to building a thriving, successful company. With some research and lots of passion, you’ll be able to choose what to sell and carve out your own product niche. It’s not about finding the perfect product; it’s about finding the perfect product for your customers.
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