Targeting Your Market: Aim High

Middle-aged man sitting in shop selling guitars.So, if you’ve decided you’d like to try your entrepreneurial luck online, the first question may be… what should I sell? Well, to start with it’s best if you choose something you feel enthusiastic and even passionate about, and if you have a certain amount of in-depth knowledge on the subject, so much the better. Alternatively, you could check out what’s currently ‘flavour of the month’ and being touted in the advertising media. If you find something you like the look of, try a keyword search on Google and see how many people are looking for information on the subject you have in mind.

Whatever you finally settle for, if you want to get wealthy sooner rather than later (and who doesn’t) the product needs to be sold at a high value, but with low production costs, giving you a high profit margin. Obviously, the greater the profit margin, the less you have to sell in quantity in order to make a profit faster. If you’re selling pencils at 2p-a-time it’s going to take longer to become a millionaire than if you’re dealing in DVD sets that go for £200-a-piece. Of course, the item you’re selling will need to be something that has a high perceived value by the customer in the first place – for instance, a 6 DVD set on how to make a million on the Internet would do nicely.

Naturally there are a lot of serious players at the top end of the market and advertising costs can be steep as well, which is OK when you consider the rewards. In order to get a slice of the action you need to come up with something that makes you stand out from everyone else doing a similar thing… often referred to as a ‘unique selling point’ (USP). The key is to do as much research as you can and see what’s currently available and being done by other people; if nothing else this can be a good indication of what not to do.

If after racking your brains your reservoir of inspirational ideas remains dry, you could always do a joint venture with someone you know who has an unusual (and legal) interest or hobby and will let you drink from their well of experience, in exchange for a share of the profits.

Although launching yourself on the Internet is no guarantee of success, if you’re going to do it you might just as well set your sights high, then even if you fall a bit short of the mark at least you’ll still end up on the right side of the fence… and not on it!