Most business owners dream of starting out on the shopping networks, Target or another retail shelf space. Some can, but I generally tell most people to get some experience underneath them with their brands.
Give the product some time, pay attention to the customer’s feedback, notice how the product holds up, any issues with artwork that needs to be changed and then approach the big boys. Mass market while profitable is tough and they want to have a seasoned business owner who can navigate the waters (or shelves) with ease and capital.
1. You own website
Having an eCommerce business is easier now then when I started in 1999. You can literally be up and running within 24 hours if you basic understanding on how to use a computer.
Some websites to consider:
- WordPress – they offer several different platforms and themes. I am a huge advocate of WordPress and recommend all sites to be in a wordpress format. It’s so much more than blogs now days.
- Volusion – an amazing all in one site. One of my favorite makeup brands uses volusion 100% pure make up.
- GoDaddy and an entire host of other low cost websites are available. The trick is learning how to market the products
Amazon is a great resources for start up business to sell their products. They drive the traffic, you list the products and manage the listing, they ship or you it’s really easy and simple. You can either have your own store on Amazon or sell on Amazon. I think it’s a little expensive, but they have a great marketplace and I know lots of start up business that do well on Amazon. You can either have your own store on Amazon or sell on Amazon.
Etsy is a fun community of people who make unique, often times handcrafted items. I personally am a big Etsy fan and buy a lot of unique items from them.
4. Farmer’s markets / local fairs
Many brands got their start selling at local fairs or farmer’s markets. In college, I sold water bottles, and handbags at Eastern Market in DC to make extra money. It was great to interact face to face with customers, see their instant feedback to items and get a chance to adjust my product line if it was not working.
5. Through other business lists
It’s not unusual when someone is launching a product and has no list or clients to sell to that they do an affiliate marketing strategy or JV (Joint Venture) and sell to their partner’s list splitting the profit of sales. It’s a win win for both parties and the customer’s get to see something new and exciting. You can approach a business that you think may be a good fit for you to see if they offer a program or would be interested in trying.
6. Give a class
Sometimes teaching a class on skincare tips, how to make soap, apply makeup to look your best, or hair care & techniques is the best way to sell products. By teaching, you establish trust with your customers, teach them something that is helpful and many times the attendees also purchase the products or services that the experts (you) recommend.
These are just several places for you to look into. I’d love to hear where you have the most success selling your products!