Last week, I gave you some basic pieces of small business advice. Now that you have those in mind, let’s move on to the most important part of starting out. And that would be developing a product.
Read these, in case you missed them:
- Why start a small business?
- What kind of business should you start?
- The right attitudes for entrepreneurs
Developing a product is a carefully executed process.
You can’t just take a random idea and sell it straight away. Making products in a haphazard manner will drain your capital fast. Of course, you don’t want that to happen. So to not waste your capital, there has to be a plan.
First, identify the kind of product you want to sell.
Will it be a physical product, a digital product, or a service?
If it’s a digital product, like an e-book, then distribution is far easier. All you have to do is write the e-book and publish it in an online store like Amazon.
But if it’s a physical product like a paperback book, you have to consider things like publishing cost, shipping, inventory, and many others.
A service, on the other hand, will depend on what kind of service you’ll offer.
If it’s, say, a writing service, then it’s very easy. All you need is a computer and an internet connection. With this, you can already get clients from all over the world.
If you want to offer something like a carpet cleaning service, then you’ll have to consider a few things. How many cleaning trips can you make per day? What locality will you service? And of course you’ll need equipment and a vehicle.
Then, look at the demand for that product.
Of course, a product no one wants will make zero profit. Thus, you need to do some market research before selling anything. This is a crucial part of developing a product that many people forget about.
One thing you can do is the retail shelf test.
Let’s say you want to sell an e-book. Look at the Kindle store, for example, if e-books similar to yours are selling. Are there lots of reviews? If yes, then it means there are lots of sales. Then, you can be sure that there is demand for e-books like the one you wrote.
If it’s a service like carpet cleaning, observe the community you live in. Are people always looking for carpet cleaners? If so, then there certainly is demand for your service.
Here’s what you must remember. If there is no demand for your product idea, better develop another one. You’ll be wasting time and effort selling something no one wants.
Keep running your product ideas through that test.
Eventually, you’ll find one that will pass. Then you can start selling it. With that, you’re on the road to making money online!
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