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how did you decide what to sell?

skeebeeskeebee subscriber Posts: 2
edited November 2007 in Selecting a Business
I would like to know how many of you that sell products (not services), either online or off, decided what to sell.  Where did you do your research?  Did you find a good drop-shipper?HOW? Do you create, manufacture, invent your own products? Do you make them right from your home? Outsource? How did you find them? Did you know a lot about your products before hand or did you research them and learn as you went?
thanks in advance.


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    Jaun22Jaun22 subscriber Posts: 0
    I figured out what sell by finding an industry that I am passionate about and seeing if I can sell something within it.
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    LauraBLauraB subscriber Posts: 1
    Hi, I`m new to startup nation, and enjoying the posts so far, but haven`t filled out my profile yet.  I`m an independent consultant for a health & wellness company (nutrition, weight managment, skin care, etc).  Key to my choice is the idea that the baby boomer generation has been driving supply and demand since their birth!  Now as this generation ages, they want to live well, look good, feel good, and have flexibility with their time and finances.  I`d love to tell you more about the company I chose, and how they`ve seen phenomenal growth over the last 5 years due in large part to the demand for their great products.  You certainly want something you can stand behind and be passionate about, so interest has to play a huge part in your choice.  Feel free to email me for a link to my website!  Best of luck in your search for the right business for yourself.

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    theplan2successtheplan2success subscriber Posts: 0
    Great questions! When I was exploring my options in the home business world, I was really overwelmed.  But I keep going back to the fact that I wanted my business to make a positive and profound impact on the people I served.   When I looked at the population at large I realized that the two main concerns in our country today are for health and finances.  So I looked for a company that offered hope for people`s health and their finances****AND one that would give me the opportunity to be financially free!!  My third criteria was an opportunity with very low overhead and paperwork.  Believe it not---I found it.  So set your criteria for what you want and go looking for it.  Feel free to email me if you would like more information about how I found my dream business.
    Best wishes,
    Jennifer    theplan2success@hotmail.com</A>
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    skeebeeskeebee subscriber Posts: 2
    Pretty interesting stuff.  Craig your business is very unique.  It appears that this idea came from something that you have done in the past,  i.e. military, scouts, etc. 
    Is this tyrpical for most?  Has anyone started selling something that they had no clue about prior to starting the business?
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    CoveredBridgeCellarsCoveredBridgeCellars subscriber Posts: 4
    The idea to start our business came after reading an article in Fortune magazine. We had been looking to start some kind of side business for a while, but never thought it would involve wine. But as happens in many industries, changing business models and new players help to bring down the traditional barriers to entry. So instead of $1M to start a winery, we are able to do it for a around $15k. So I guess the message is keep an eye on the industries you find some interest in and pinpoint the products that you are passionate about and wouldd enjoy "selling".
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    skeebeeskeebee subscriber Posts: 2
    Jeremy..WOW thats a huge difference in the cost to start your business.  Thats is a business that must be really fun to be in....  Finding something that you enjoy seems to be a bit more important than the margins.  Of course making money has its rewards too..
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    OldNikkoOldNikko subscriber Posts: 0

    You`re right Craig, the old chicken & egg question... and does it matter? I think not, but that`s just me.


    In fact, deciding what to sell is strictly a personal choice... but is HAS TO BE based on a known market. You find out what that is by ASKING QUESTIONS in all the right places. From census data to asking your neighbors - and everywhere else in between. OR - it could be as simple as going to the flea markets, downtown stores & malls and seeing what people ARE ACTUALLY BUYING!


    For me, in my first real business - it was as a specialty jewelry manufacturer/retailer. That decision was for several reasons...


    One: I saw that folks were buying a LOT of jewelry, especially really nice stuff that was affordable. There was a significant market, which I segmented by observation to determine the precise niche I would enter. In my case, at that time, it was sterling silver jewelry, and in particular, the high-quality, hand-crafted (or appearing to be) market. (Note: This segment also allowed the largest profit margins at both wholesale & retail too!)


    Two: I was trained as a kid (thanks Grandpa!) for silversmithing, so this was a "natural" for me... and I did start by selling silver jewelry I had made (mostly from recycled silver US coins - exactly what I made was determined by customer demand - AKA: What sold well!); then expanded slowly as I added things made by friends that sold as well (or better!); eventually moving up to fast-moving, superior quality items made by the main domestic jewelry manufacturers. As the finances & opportunities presented themselves, I expanded even further afield - MUCH further... allowing me to retire both early and large.


    Not too bad for a kid with a `borrowed ten-dollar bill` to start-up with (thanks Grandma!) - with total self-funding all along the way.


    So, in my case it comes down to: Start in a general area you have some interest, qualifications and/or experience; seek valid opportunities within that field as they come along; and remain flexible enough to change and/or expand... growing at each step along the way - as you can afford it.
    If I were asked for the one trait most important... that would be persistence in the face of impending failure. You only lose when you finally give up - if the idea was a valid one to start with! Know when to hold on, and when to change tactics... all based on having a good strategic plan.



    - General Manager,

    The Entrepreneur Group on MSN

    OldNikko11/13/2007 2:59 PM
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