Finding A Product

When you are looking for something to market you have two main choices. These are quite obvious and simple, you can:
Find a ready-made product, or Create a product
Both of these approaches have their advantages and disadvantages. If you find a ready made product then you save a lot of time in developement. If this product is only available to sell via an "affiliate program" you will lose some of the profit. If this ready made product is available with "Resell Rights" you can keep 100% of the profit - but with all premade products you lose on exclusivity. Everyone will be selling the same thing!

If you create your own you will maximise potential profits but lose time in developement. There's always a balance between Time and Money and you must decide which path is best for you. The quicker you want to do something, the more it will cost. The most economical way is also the slowest.

For beginners it is probably better to source something that is readily available for you to market.

You can get ideas from anywhere. By looking at ads in newspapers or television you can find the most popular products, and perhaps try to put a new spin on them. Don't worry if something is advertised everywhere allready because if these advertising companies spend millions on their adverts then there is obviously a reason for it. There is a demand for whatever they are selling! You should try to make your product unique - even if it's only unique on price or convenience.

Another way to find a product is just to keep an eye on current trends. Of course some of the most successful products of all time have created trends rather than followed them, but that is rare. The easiest way to keep in touch with trends is to watch tv, read newspapers, read magasines. Whatever is in the mind of the population at the time will trigger them to buy a related product. You can also subscribe to a number of newsletters that keep you in touch with current trends, look in the links page for some. Don't worry too much about copying other people unless your copy is significantly inferior.

When you are looking for a product also keep an eye on your customer. This is covered later but you should find a product that appeals to a distinct audience. Know what their fears, worries and wants are. For example, everyone wants money, health, comfort, looks etc. Know what their age-group and income is. People tend to buy what they want rather than what they need. They buy with their hearts rather than their heads. For the small home business man you must keep an eye on costs. There is no point on developing some massively complex product if you don't have the resources to manufacture it. For this reason there are four good choices to start with:
- Information Products - usually E-books, Newsletters or `Private Site` memberships. Also sometimes educational material, such as online courses.
- Software - PC software or web-based services.- A Service - such as web design, consulting, programming, authoring.
- Reseller Packages - where you sell the item, but another company will handle all transactions, warehousing, manufacture, shipping and the rest. You basically provide the customer for a percentage of the profit. You can also be a reseller of a service, such as insurance, loans, web hosting etc.

There is another you can add to that list, MLM-based products. These are like Reseller packages but with a commission structure so you are paid on numerous `levels`. You'd sell the product as you would any other, but you'd also be involved in recruiting. To recruit people you are selling the opportunity rather than the product and you'd still work along the ideas in this book. If you were to go all the way recruiting then you'd also use other methods such as e-mail, telephone, face to face meetings - but your job is to convince someone to sign up into the program you are promoting.

Product is the easiest way to get complete, resellable products. They have a vast selection of software and e-books along with order pages and ad-copy to promote them. Push Button Publishing even comes with a pro hosting account, autoresponders and mail list server. The best thing about Push Button Publishing is their resale-rights co-operative; basically anything you want to sell that you've seen around will be bought by the co-op for everyone to use!

Any of these will work for a beginner or for cutting down uncessary complication for one good reason - you carry no stock and it can all be done over the Internet!

What do you charge for your product? Whatever the customer will pay, but at least enough to cover your costs and make a profit! Remember - a higher price can add a "perceived" value to your item, while a low price may appeal to a larger audience but give the item a bargain image. It's a fine balance. One tip is prices with 7's work well, e.g. $47.97.

Another way to sell online, ideal for beginners, is to use dropship companies. Using these you can buy an item and have it shipped to a customer automatically. This makes you the middleman. This kind of selling is good for places such as eBay as well as for your own site. When you use dropship companies simply advertise the product then collect the money from any sale. Only then do you buy the item and have it shipped. As these companies usually sell at trade or below-trade prices the difference becomes your profit!

The Truth about Products

The best way to make money online is by creating your own product. The easiest product to create is an information product, and the best information product is the E-book. Why is this?

An E-book is 100% profit to you.
There are no manufacture costs.
No rights or royalties to pay.
Instantly delivered via e-mail for free, more chance of an impulse purchase.
You don't need much customer support.
No stock.
You can even tie in a reseller program and get others to sell it for you! Is this the perfect product? It must be a contender. The only problem is the eBook Market is now very saturated, but if you target the right group you can still make money - fast!

Finding the right group to target is "niche marketing". There is more information on this later on in this book.

If you are going to sell someone else's product then you need to ensure that the company is honest and reliable and provides good marketing materials and information for you. As a reseller you can market almost anything, from loans and insurance to homes and cars. If you buy the rights to a product then that product is basically yours, you go it alone and market it as you wish and charge whatever you want.

The best profits come from consumable products. Think of services such as web hosting or subscriptions to sites/e-zines, or products such as health supplements. Repeat sales will really boost your business.

Finally, currently one of the largest markets is the 50+ market (the baby boomer group) so there is a lot of money to be made in health products and retirement products, and those products that make life easier. This group is categorized by having a good disposable income and a lot of free time.

As time goes on in your business the world is your oyster. You can hire proffessionals - such as writers, designers or programmers - to make your products and then you keep all the money. You can use services such as Elance to help you do this and it doesn't cost as much as you'd think.