How to Find a Unique Product Or Service
By Kim Haas
I would say the most frequently asked question from beginners about opening their own
business is "What should I sell?" I then proceed to ask them, "What interests and hobbies
do you have?" Most don't know how to answer that question because they cannot possibly
envision how their own interests and hobbies could be turned into a business. After a long
silence I then ask, "Why do you want to start your own business?" The beginner will
immediately answer, "To make money".
I am sure I would have given the same answers when I started my home business but the
purpose of this article is to educate you and help save you the loss of time and testing I
had to endure.
The best way to find a unique product or service that will make you money is to first
decide what you have an interest in. Look through business opportunity magazines for
ideas. A business can be started from anything you can imagine. All you have to do is find
something you are interested in selling; not how much money you will make.
Make sure the product you choose is something you believe in and are excited about. If
not, you will abandon the business in the early stages when you are making common mistakes
in marketing. You simply will lose steam with a product you have no interest in personally.
Now, determine the type of people that would be interested in buying your product. For
instance, if you decide to publish a cookbook, you know your market will be people
interesting in cooking. Workaholics who grab a pizza or run through a drive-through at
Burger King™ would not be a likely to purchase a cookbook. Neither would students who live
in college dorms since their cooking facilities are normally very small.
Now it's time to make a trip to the library. Go to the Reference Section and look for
the Thomas Register. Look under the
classification that provides you the names and addresses of other companies selling the
same product you have decided to sell. Copy all these names and addresses down. (The
Thomas Register is an alphabetical guide to products and manufacturers, and is a storehouse
of information for the businessperson.)
Write to all the companies listed in the Thomas Register and request a catalog or more
information. Spend time and study all the materials you receive. Compare prices for the
same merchandise. Who knows? You might locate a company that sells the same product at a
cheaper price than you can make it yourself. If so, you can order quantities from them and
resell the product under your own name and packaging.
The next, and very important step, is to advertise. Start with small classified ads in
a variety of publications. Choose publications that are advertising the same type of item
you wish to sell. Don't just place an advertisement in a magazine or newspaper because the
rates are low. If the item you are trying to sell is not relational to the publication's
theme, readers will skip over your ad and you will be wasting money.
Starting a home based business to make some extra money at home or in your spare time
is as simple as falling off a log. The trick is to find a product or service that YOU
enjoy. You won't become a millionaire overnight (that will take a few months, ha-ha.)
Instead, you need to allow yourself a little time in order to show a profit. (Uncle Sam
gives small businesses 5 years to get out of the red.) So please don't base the product
your business will sell based on how much money you'll make.
Kim Haas has been working online since the Internet was a series of BBS systems. She is
a successful writer and owner of