Choosing a Product to Sell

By Victoria Ring

Finding a product for your company to sell may be the hardest decision you will need to make when starting a business. If you are a beginner, you may feel you don't have enough business experience to make this decision. This article will help you choose the product that is right for you.

When I asked 250 people at a seminar what type of business they wanted to start, 93% said "anything to make money." This showed me that the majority of people start a business because they think they are going to make $10,000 a month like the television commercials claim. But many people who buy into these advertised programs soon find out that you need to "have money to make money", and the majority of us don't that kind of money to invest.

At this point, many beginners either buy another program or quit altogether, which is unfortunate, because you can achieve the same goal without spending the amount of money required by these programs.

How can you do that? Simple - sell your own products and services. If you buy into a program, you might as well work for an employer. With programs that you purchase, you sell their product, follow their set of rules, use ads they create and basically do everything that anyone could do.

If you want to be an entrepreneur who runs your own business, controls the quality of your own product or service, and carves out your own unique niche in the small business industry, the following information will help you.

Choose One Type of Product

Before you choose any product or service to sell, you must repeat this phrase 200 times: "My company can only sell one type of product."

I operated a business for 12 years, bull-headed and unwilling to follow the advice of much smarter people than me who told me to follow this same advice. Like many other new business owners, I thought selling a wide variety of products would get me money faster than selling just one product. But as I began to actively do business on the Internet and had exposure to thousands of new ways to market, I discovered that marketing was a full-time job.

On the Internet, I can quickly market to 100,000 people or more in ten seconds. Therefore, if I introduced a new program or a free offer, I could be bombarded with hundreds of inquiries and responses within a 24-hour period. This was a lot to handle.

It didn't take me long to see that I didn't have the time to control a variety of different products plus spend time marketing in all the different markets. For instance, I started on the Internet in 1996 selling mailing lists, books, reports, affiliate programs, newsletters, publishing and desktop publishing services, printing, advertising (Internet and printed) as well as being involved in several commissioned programs.

I soon realized that it was impossible for me to effectively market each of my products and services. Selling printing would require me to market to a completely different group of people than book buyers. My products covered too vast of a market. There were not enough hours in the day to cover each area well and bring in a sufficient income.

Out of necessity, I had to close down some of the programs I originally created for the Internet and just keep the products and services I enjoyed marketing the most. That's when I started making money on the Internet. Now this was NOT an overnight process. It took time to find just the right service for YouOnLine.Net.

What Can You Sell?

What one thing do you do better than everyone else? Are you an excellent cook? Are you good with teaching and training others? Do you enjoy writing? Are you a sports buff? What kind of things do you consider an enjoyable hobby? (i.e., sewing, photography, computers, movies, collectibles, etc.)

Take time to think this through. Make a list of everything you enjoy. This will provide information to help you in choosing the right product or service for your business.

Am I Limited to One Product?

After you have chosen one specific product or service, it's fine to add additional products. Just ensure the products you add will also sell to people in your target market.

Let me explain. A target market is a group of people who purchase the products and services you are selling. It doesn't matter if you wanted to sell chips off your basement floor as collector's items - there is a group of people out there somewhere that will buy them. So you see, the product is not as important to your success as marketing.

All you have to do is find people who will purchase what you're selling and you'll make money.

How do you find these people? You invest the time trying a variety of different marketing techniques. And since you should always be improving on your marketing skills and building up your contacts so you can find your target market - you can see why you cannot possibly market more than one type of product or service at the same time.

It's fine to add other "related" products and services to your one main product theme so you can provide the customer with choices - as long as the product is related to your main product.

For example, web design would be a good match with hosting services, since the same type of customer needing web design would most likely also need hosting services. But it would not work to offer web design and Beanie Babies. Those two products are so different that you never could market both successfully at the same time.

A Product Idea

If you have thought and thought about it, and still can't come up with a product or service you can develop or create on your own, you may want to explore another option. You may want to look for a small business owner who provides the products or services you would enjoy selling and subcontract for him/her.

Subcontracting means that that you contact the owner of the business and ask them if you could set up a business selling their products. Work out an arrangement where you get a certain amount of commission from every customer sale you make and then build your business around this product.

Let me stop here and say, I DO NOT mean signing up for affiliate programs like Amazon. Those programs are fine for some people, but why not give the "little guy" a chance? Why not find a true entrepreneur, who is working hard and provides a product or service you believe is superior? Then work exclusively with the entrepreneur.

A friend wanted to start a business selling Christian clipart on the Internet. Since he was not an artist and didn't have any desire to become one, he searched until he found a "starving" artist that he liked. He asked this artist to provide five different samples of Christian-related artwork for use in marketing. The artist was happy to do so free of charge because he appreciated the value of free publicity. My friend then proceeded to market a product available only through his company.

Not only did he have exclusive rights to a brand new product he created -- he didn't have to do the actual graphic creation. At last contact, my friend claims to be selling $1,300 a month in Christian-clipart. He keeps $650 of that and the "starving" artist is not starving anymore!


Although I have discussed several different options in this article, they all relate to choosing the right product or service for your business. It's fine to sell a variety of products - just as long as they relate to one main theme. Your job now is to focus on that one main theme. When you do, choosing the right product or service for your business to sell will be easy. I wish you the best of success!

© Copyright Victoria Ring
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