In building an online business there are 2 kinds of people who are going to struggle:
- “I don’t really know what to sell and I’m not sure what to have my OFS do”
Yeah…if you don’t know what to have someone do, you probably shouldn’t be hiring an OFS. They’re not going to run your business for you unless you know what you’re doing first.
- “John, I have the best idea for a product…listen to this…”
I don’t care.
I don’t care what your product is until you show me how you’re going to sell it.
Because selling is the only thing that matters.
My second best advice for someone hoping to start a business is to sell the product first.
Then create the product.
Once you’ve proven that it will sell (the hard part), you can do the fun work of creating the product (the easy part).
Here’s a couple examples of how we’ve done this over the years.
- Set up a simple website describing what you have to offer.
Run google ads to it (or FB ads).
When someone checks out ask for their name/email to start the checkout process.
Once they’ve entered their name/email, on the next page tell them
“Sorry, the product isn’t quite ready yet, we’re still working on it. For being early we’ll give you a discount when it comes out. BTW, what’s your biggest question about this?”
You prove people are willing to buy.
You get instant customers when the product is done.
You get your sales info given to you as they tell you their questions.
- Find your product and create a listing on the marketplace where you will sell (FB, craigslist…). If you get interest, it will sell. Go source the product.
We’ve found this second method super effective with classifieds.
Obviously these aren’t the only path to success…but I see so many people fail at the selling part. Most people are willing to find the product. Most are unwilling to do the hard work of selling.
PS. An OFS won’t do the hard work of selling it for you.
PPS. Where do you see this ‘sell first, build next’ principle in action? Kickstarter!