Many times people have already developed a product for sale when they come to see me. These folks have decided that their idea is so good that people will want to own one right away, and so has mass-produced the item.
If you have produced an item for a niche market you have a better chance of success with less out of pocket expense. However, I know many inventors with garages full of products they thought were going to sell quickly.
So, while I don't recommend that people spend their hard-earned money manufacturing a product they are not sure will sell, here are a few ways to sell a product yourself.
If you think your product will do well as a mail order item, you need to know how you will package and ship it. Visit your local post office to find out the best mailing strategies and look at www.usps.com for packaging tips.
Find out what customers want when they order products either on line or over the phone. For instance, they usually want to see pictures of what they would be buying along with a good description of the product.
They want a toll-free phone number to call for service with round-the-clock access.
The best customer service, speedy delivery and easy returns are also very important to consumers.
Another consideration is a product guarantee. Since you have skipped a few steps in my product development scheme, I would hope that you have thoroughly checked that the product you are offering works as you say it will; unfortunately many times you don't find out about the flaws until people start using it. Therefore a guarantee is important.
Spend time identifying your target consumers and then advertise in publications that they will see. If you have a product useful for mechanics, advertising in a family magazine will not hit your target. You must find out which publications mechanics rely on. Then call and get a media kit.
Advertising rates are high so you want to make sure that the ad will be read directly by the people you want to buy your product.
One way to save money might be to call on the advertising deadline date for the publication you want to advertise in and ask if there is still space available. They might offer you a reduced rate since they have space to fill.
If you can't afford a display ad even at a discount, think about taking out a classified ad in the same publications.
Find out where the trade shows for your target group are and try either to get a booth or just attend and gather business cards that you can use to reach people after the show. Your local Chamber of Commerce should know if any shows will be coming to your area. There are also many Websites listing national trade shows. This will be a good test of whether you truly have an entrepreneurial bent!
Article © Copyright 2002 Stanley I. Mason. Syndicated by Paradigm News, Inc.