Sales are the rawest most universal form of business. Whether it is working the “bottom line,” reaching quotas, or raising profit margins, business is, at its core level, all about the sale. Of course, many businesses work outside the means of sales, but for all intents and purposes, the vast majority of businesses involve sales in some facet. They sell a product that is created for less than the selling price. Often it is not, but the idea is to obtain product and sell it, with intent to make money at some point.
This is the core principle of business. This is product sales.
Devising a business around this vague and generalizing idea leaves much to the imagination. And in many ways, it is as easy as having something and selling it, in what most consider large” quantities. Yet, a product selling business can sell one item a year and still remain active. Tell that to art dealers who work in the million dollar range. Mattress stores are notoriously for selling in low quantities. Yet, they sell to retail stores such as Sears and Macy’s and the sales just add up and up and up…
Product sales have many facets. One way to obtain sales is to obtain a product that is unique and simply unimaginable anywhere else. This is niche marketing and niche business, and is a type of product selling business that has broad potential for massive success. Yet the chances of failure are much higher. On the other hand, you can enter into a product selling business where the product is already an established “something.” Perhaps clothing fits that category. You can obtain clothing anywhere, of all sorts. It is nothing new or niche- on the surface. But it is when you deliver unique and interesting (and by extension, niche) clothing where you blend the world of niche business and mainstream business into what many consider the ideal product selling business.
Even service businesses provide some sort of sales faction, usually through merchandising. Restaurants often sell product advertising their business, such as clothing, mugs, diapers, what have you. The restaurant Cracker Barrel is notorious for having a storefront in all its restaurants. So is Cracker Barrel a company in sales or service? Without knowing how much money is made from each section of their business practices, we can only assume that they are, indeed, a little of both.
But it isn’t really the point to differentiate types of businesses. Any business can have a sales sector. People love that ability to have something intangible- or in the case of the eBook industry, intangible. Regardless, sales are the business to enter to tackle the mainstream. Our society loves purchasing, so why not take that for what it is?
All this is great, and selling a product is a fantastic goal to have for a small business. For many, it is the only way to go. But how can you sell a product to an audience, and have it be popular enough to sustain you financially? In other words, how can you turn selling a product into a great business?
This portion stands as the catch-all methodology for beginning a small business. The practices in the following section sort of highlight the main principles of starting a successful business with little to no money. You can dream for the stars, but it takes these early steps to begin the path to your galaxy-reaching lasting goals.
First of all, you must find out why you are selling, or providing, what you are. This is significant in that it builds the basis for why the business exists in the first place. The answer should not necessarily be “because it’s interesting.” This answer needs to be reflexive and logical. People will not purchase what you have to offer simply because it is YOU selling it (unless YOU happen to be a famous movie star). Reasonably so, people need to want what you can provide. Your product needs to have value, whether literal (gold) or intrinsically (a painting). Your product needs a worth of some nature. But as well as a worth, it needs a WHY.
With that said, your second step is to devise a plan. You must never, under any circumstance, build a business without an established plan and expect success. Goals help to keep you emotionally intact and focused, but a plan helps keep you literally focused. Events will occur in your business that you did not expect. Your product may not sell. Many people complain. Your product breaks. Price goes up, and you need to raise prices. Your website breaks down. Your product is no longer desired. All these things occur daily, and can occur at any time. A quality product oriented business has a plan, and any answer to these scenarios is keeping in mind the plan of the business.
After you establish a plan, you must now follow through. Many people get cold feet and find that the business is not developing as easy as it could be. Perhaps issues arise, or motivation leaks away and the difficult reality of uprooting a business stares them squarely in the face. You must follow through, particularly if you believe in the idea. No business was a success without first getting over an initial hump. Do not be discouraged because you do not have a father who is willing to invest millions. Do not be discouraged that your website garners no hits and one sale (to your sister). The initial hump of starting a business always occurs.
When you get over the hump, and you still remain in ‘business,” now it is time to add new elements. This is to keep the business fresh, but also competitive. A new element could be adding drawings to your painting business. A new element could be building a shop to sell your product. A new element could be resorting to retail stores to help sell your product, as opposed to just an online shop. All of these work in conjunction to keep a small business afloat, and all of these are valuable indicators of success in a new small business.
As you reconcile that information, you of course are thinking about the particular products you want to sell. It needs to be something that is desired on some level, or stands as a unique product amongst competitors. Once you have your product, you need to obtain it. With a small budget, this task can be utterly painstaking. Perhaps you can go to creative seminars and network. This way you can meet people with similar minds who may be willing to assist you on this.
If you are alone in working the business, you need feedback. Find out if anyone is willing to “preorder” a product before you have it. This way, you get the funding for the product without having it exist, and you can use this money to obtain the product. This stage takes time. With a small budget, you cannot insist on ordering hundreds of an item, especially a high priced item. Use the power of kindness and people’s intrigue to fund your product selling business. If they are willing to pay for the product without getting it yet, then you can be confident that you have a marketable and quality product. As well, you can be confident they will purchase this product come the time you are well stocked.
Sales are difficult. Your product needs to be competitive and alluring. Many people offer a product that no one is interested in. Even further, they may have splurged and bought excessive stick in something that simply does not sell. Do not be that “guy.” Order your product precariously, and do not expect massive sales. You can expect to make $1000 in profit from your sales over the course of a few months, but this number is rather arbitrary and just a barometer if you are successful compared to the average. You need to obtain a website for selling product. This way, you can reach a wide audience without resorting to local promotion. Most sales businesses have an online component where you can purchase their product. It is a necessity in the 21st century.
A product selling business can be infinitely rewarding. There is little to rival the satisfaction of selling something you devised to people who enjoy it. If you believe in the product you are selling, and believe that people can and will enjoy it, you are limitless in potential success and potential sales. Most importantly, do not enter into a business you are not comfortable with. Sell something you believe in and you will naturally put your best foot forward. Sales are a rough environment. But with the proper knowledge of your target markets, and the love
for the product, your natural radiance will show and the product will fly into the hands of happy customers across the globe.