Let’s pick a product
ECOMMERCE & BUSINESS
Creating an online business from scratch – episode 2
Ross Cheeseright, 2BG, eCommerce
14 February 2018
In the first installment of ‘Let’s create an eBusiness’ we discussed some of the benefits of setting up an online business for yourself to serve as an extra stream of income. Now we get to work and start by picking a product for our new business.
While setting up an online business is much lower cost and much lower risk than other conventional business models, it does carry with it a small element of investment and therefore a small element of risk and in this installment, we’re going to be exploring what we can do to minimise that risk.
Risk?! Woah now hold on a minute! What Risks?
When you’re setting up a business model where you’re going to be selling physical products, then it means that you’re going to need to spend some money buying those products, you’re also going to need to spend a little bit of money to house and ship those products.
This normally isn’t a big problem, but if you’re looking to set up a business with 0 startup costs, then this business model isn’t going to be for you.
In the future we’ll look at other business models such as drop-shipping, selling your own work and selling services in a future series but for now, we’re looking for people that want to set up an online business that can help make them an income.
Getting the right product is really important!
Image by Ross Cheeseright from twobeardedguys
There are a huge range of items out there that you can pick up and start selling today and so knowing which products to pick can be tricky. This is a really important step, so we’re going to be devoting a little bit of time to it today so get yourself a coffee and a cheeseburger and let’s do this thing!
General Concepts for Picking a Product
You might be tempted to go for a super niche product that no-one else is selling thinking to yourself “Well, there is less competition for this so I’ll be able to compete better.” but that would be a mistake.
“…you’ll be entering an multi-billion-dollar bakery with million-dollar pies all over the place…”
When you’re setting up an eBusiness, you’ll be entering an multi-billion-dollar bakery with million-dollar pies all over the place, and you just need to aim to get a slice of one of those pies to boost you income. The aim here is to get something that sits between niche and ridiculously common.
When you’re looking at items to buy, you’ll want to pick something that will allow you to differentiate yourself from your competition. You’ll want to pick an item that will allow you to efficiently market it and talk-up the benefits of your product, and that’s a lot easier to do with a unique Japanese Oak Handle steak knife than it is with a stainless steel butter knife.
For now, our aim is just to start researching these products and find out what we might like to stock for our business. To see what’s selling well and what isn’t – and at this stage I’d definitely encourage you to spend a few evenings creating a short-list of products that you feel are viable.
- Don’t go for something that’s too niche! People won’t be looking for it and we need to shift stock.
- Look for something that isn’t too generic or you won’t be able to set yourself apart from the competition.
- Look for something that you can add your logo onto so that you can start building a brand.
- Look for something you can sell the benefits of over another more generic product.
In the next instalment of this series, we’re going to be looking at how we can get our hands on these products to sell so don’t worry about that just now.
Now that we’ve gone over the broad requirements about what sort of products that we should be looking for, it’s time to actually start doing a bit of market research and putting together our short-list of products. To do this, we’ll be investigating the Amazon Marketplace (which is consequently where we’ll also be selling. But one step at a time.)
But before you run off to Amazon and start Googling items, there are a few things we need to do to get the most out of it.
1. Make sure that you’re using the Chrome web browser
2. Head over to https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/unicorn-smasher/lfmmeekapjbfjachdkgabdaoccfclpaa?hl=en and install the ‘chrome extension’.
How to install the Unicorn Smasher Extension.
Video by Ross Cheeseright via YouTube!
Once you’ve got the unicorn smasher extension installed it’s time to head over to Amazon and start looking for those products – Check out this short video on how to use the tool:
How to use the Unicorn Smasher Extension.
Video by Ross Cheeseright via YouTube!
Warpping it up
And that just about wraps up things for this instalment of “How to start your own eBusiness from scratch.” your homework for today is to produce a shortlist of at least 5 items that fit the bill.
If you’ve got any questions on the process or if you’d like to hire us to help you get your online business up and running, don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Tune in next week when we start looking into building a brand for our new business!
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