If there’s one area of business that many entrepreneurs struggle with, it’s knowing what to sell. The fact is that for the most part, entrepreneurs know that they want to start a small business, the only issue is that they don’t know what they want to sell.
A lot of people choose to launch businesses of their own because they hate their jobs and want to do something that is different to what they are currently doing. For the most part, the majority of successful business owners say that they love what they do – which means that if that’s true, they are far ahead of most other people.
The statistics surrounding job satisfaction are unnerving to read – the vast majority of people are unhappy with what they do. Whereas, when it comes to the satisfaction that business owners feel, usually it’s high, with the majority of entrepreneurs enjoying what they do.
How do entrepreneurs choose what to sell?
Of course, while envy of other entrepreneurs and their satisfaction is one reason why many people choose to start businesses of their own, what a lot of people want to know is how entrepreneurs choose what to do and sell.
According to Sir Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group: “If you can improve people’s lives, you have a business. People think, ‘well everything’s been thought of,’ but actually, all of the time, there are gaps in the market here and gaps in the market there.”
He is so right – if you want to succeed in the business industry, you need to find a gap in the market for a product that is needed but is not available yet. Often, this is the hardest part of launching a business, because coming up with an idea is never easy.
While Arianna Huffington, the co-founder of The Huffington Post says that “you have to really believe in your product. When you really believe in your product, you are willing to deal with all the naysayers and persevere.”
If you are going to launch a business that has any chance of success, you have to believe in what you are selling. Otherwise, it’s pointless. If you don’t believe in your product, then you have a low chance of success, which is why it’s so vital that you find a product to sell that you truly believe in.
Tony Robbins, best-selling author, philanthropist, and popular life and business strategist, says: “The most painful mistake I see in first-time entrepreneurs is thinking that just having a business plan or a great concept is enough to guarantee success. It’s not. Business success is 80% psychology and 20% mechanics. And, frankly, most people’s psychology is not meant for building a business.”
As Tony says, you can have the best product in the world, but that doesn’t guarantee you success – if you are going to succeed, you need to have the psychology to do so.
What should you do if you’re not a creator?
The fact is that not everyone is born as creator – if you don’t have the mindset to create a product that is unlike any other, that doesn’t have to mean that you can’t build a highly successful business because that isn’t the case. If you also don’t wish to improve on another product, then perhaps you could sell products that have been created by someone else?
Believe it or not, starting this type of retailing business is easier than you would think. It’s much simpler than many people realise to start an Amazon or eBay store, which can be a great option for selling products, in addition to having an e-commerce website of your own.
An example of a company that has successfully sold other people’s products is Not On The High Street; another one is Birchbox – both of these brands are highly successful but don’t sell their own products, sell other people’s products. However, what these two brands did do, was find a unique approach to selling these products. Not On The High Street created a unique brand by only selling products that are totally different to anything you would get on the high street, with many items being customisable. While Birchbox offers a subscription beauty service that delivers a box of other brand’s products once a month to beauty lovers. Both of these unique ways of selling have meant that the brands behind them have had unprecedented success.
Going back to Amazon and eBay, these sites are both easy to set up and use to sell products on, as they both have a ready built customer base. In terms of which option you opt to use, it’s important to take the time to do your research and look at the pros and cons of each option. In terms of what you should put in your store, it’s up to you – spend time doing your research and finding out what products are ‘hot’ and are highly sought after.
One of the bonuses of selling via this kind of site is the fact that they take care of the supply chain and delivery, all you need to do is set up the store and market it, everything else is taken care of. Something that many business owners choose to do is buy off of Alibaba and then sell via Amazon on eBay; this is something that you could also consider doing.
We published this article on: Starting a business but don’t know what to sell back in September 2012. Has a lot changed since then? What to sell is irrelevant, what’s important is that you are motivated to work hard and make a profitable income while growing a business.
Succeed in business
If you want to succeed in business, it’s vital that you understand what you should sell and how you should go about it. What it’s important to remember is that to succeed in business, you don’t have to be a creator, with your own products to sell, you can also sell the creations of others and be just as successful. Growing a profitable and prosperous business isn’t about being a creator, it’s about knowing how to effectively sell a product – the type of product doesn’t matter, it’s simply about having the skills to sell.