Do people know about what you sell?

by Michele on March 6, 2013

Do People Know About What You Sell?

One the big changes the internet has made in the way we do business is that it has leveled the playing field and allowed small and solo entrepreneurs to build a lucrative and sustainable business.  New businesses and new business ideas are being born every day.  Add to that the growing trend of people wanting more than income from their work and you have an ideal set up for the creation of brand new products and services available for sale.

This is awesome!  I think as entrepreneurs we take it for granted that people can just start selling a product or service even if nobody has ever sold it before.  But never before in history has the opportunity been so great.

So, yes, it’s great but there is one issue that pops up again and again when selling something brand new.  Nobody’s ever heard of it!  Nobody knows they need, want or could use it if they don’t know it exists.  If you are reading this article, you probably have an interest in small and solo businesses and you may be more immersed in new businesses than the average person so some of these examples may not surprise you.  When I first started my business and got out and started networking, I was surprised to learn of all the new businesses I had never heard of.

Here are some examples of businesses I had never heard of before I started meeting other business owners:

  • Writing coach
  • Dating coach
  • Therapeutic stretching
  • Multi-level Marketing coach
  • Communicating with angels
  • Green living consultant

These are all real examples from actual business owners I’ve met.  Do you see the possibilities?  It’s mind-blowing to me that almost anybody can create a business selling something that they invented.

So what’s the unique issue with these types of businesses?  Well, it’s much harder to get the word out if people don’t commonly know the product or services exists.  Pretty much everyone knows that dentists exist and what they do.  When we need one, we go to one.  With a dentist, the business challenge is to get people to pick your practice when they need a dentist.

For businesses that offer a brand new or unique product, the business owner faces not only the same challenge as the dentist (getting people to pick your business) but the challenge of just introducing the concept to the public.  If you have one of these brand new products or services, your marketing needs to cover a lot more education and awareness building than the dentist.  You’ll need to first make people aware that the product or service exists and then encourage them to pick your business.  This isn’t an insurmountable challenge, but it is one you’ll need to address if you have this type of business.

Did you create your own product or service when you started your business?  How have you educated the public about the existence of your business?  Tell me about it in the comments.

Comments

  1. Mozette says:

    People didn’t always know what I sold… but then again, I didn’t really know either. So, I found I had to figure out what I wanted to sell so I could sell it (does that make sense?).

    It started off with me painting my clothes pegs when I noticed my next door neighbours were stealing them; and I couldn’t prove they were. So, I got rid of the plastic ones (which broke easily anyway) and painted wooden and dolly pegs. Pretty soon, the stealing stopped but I found painting clothes pegs fun and the designs were cute.

    But nobody wanted them. So, I just painted them for myself.

    8 years later, in October 2012, I house sat my brother’s house while himself and his fiance went on holidays. I looked after their chickens and her dog, Jay, and took along my little budgie with me for a week. While doing the laundry I found I ran out of clothes pegs. So, I used the clothes horse… no fuss no muss.
    But when they returned from holidays, she put on a load of laundry while I was packing to leave and they took off for the day… so i thought to put out her laundry and, again, ran out of pegs. By this time, Dad had arrived and I asked him to help me look. So, he did, and he couldn’t find any more either. We were both stuck… so he hung out the rest of he towels and clothes and said for me to get ready to go. It was a windy day, so anything that wasn’t pegged properly was thrown onto the ground… and I was blamed, but Dad corrected them about what happened.

    This gave me a brilliant idea! I painted up some clothes pegs for them as a Christmas Gift! But after I did that, I couldn’t stop painting pegs… they were so cute and I found that I could sell them by the dozen for around $10 and peg on another $7 or so postage (depending where you are in the world.
    This year, just two weeks ago, I made my first sale of 3 dozen clothes pegs at $15 ea. with $7 shipping (this was at the old prices of $15 a dozen before I brought them down to a decent price). I received my postal cheque in the mail of $52 from a lady who was keeping 2 dozen for herself and took 1 dozen to a housewarming party… how cool is that? 😀

    Now, I’m hoping to get more painted here at my brother’s house while I house sit again for them… then sell them at the local art gallery near me where I do volunteer work. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll set up an online store on Gumtree. 😀

    1. Michele says:

      Sounds like a great venture Mozette! Wishing you much success!

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