The ‘3 Step Research Method’ for Choosing Your Small Patch Of Virtual Real Estate

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There are literally hundreds of thousands of niche markets for you to choose to introduce a new range of private label physical products. For this very reason it’s important to state the first big brutal rule of marketing which is of course..

Big Brutally Honest Marketing Rule #1:-

You Can’t Be Everything to Everyone

The first thing to remember is that you need to select just one single market to enter and sell into that sole market as your first choice. The chances are you won’t have the resources available to develop more than one range of products for different markets at any one time.

It’s simply not worth dividing your attention between more than one main market. It’s much easier to first invade one beach-head and win, than to try taking on several different opponents with unique strengths and weaknesses all at the same time! –(unless you fantasize about becoming a kamikaze pilot, which of course I’m sure you don’t.. ..do you?!)–

Instead I prefer to carefully pick out the best opportunities to leverage the time and money invested and I hope you will too. You can always go into more ‘related’ markets later on but you’ll need to be able to focus on just one niche in one market to begin with.

You’re aim is to complete a project that’s going to be at least worth 10k or more to you each and every month. Therefore I hope you’ll agree that it’s going to be worth it, to focus on just one range of products in one niche to begin with. It’s not uncommon to underestimate the focus and attention that’s needed to complete one successful project.

Although you won’t need to panic and if you do chose just one niche I’m sure you’ll probably thank me for it later on.

Let’s begin the research..

STEP 1 RESEARCH

Take a Deep Breath, Grab a Cup of Hot Tea and Adopt

the Right Mindset

Ok, you don’t need tea –(although being British I find it does help!)– and I do know what it’s like to start a new project –(I’ve completed quite a few projects from start to finish in my time)–

Firstly you have an idea, you get excited about it and you’re fully charged ready to go.. ..full steam ahead. This is ALL good. However it’s also a good idea to put as much effort into researching your ideas and your market upfront. You can think of this as ‘saving time, money and potential frustration’ later on down the road.

After all you won’t want to commit to buying products before you have a good idea about what’s already selling well in the market or who’s already winning in that market.

Identify Your Own Strengths to Leverage Your Unique

Advantage

Everyone has an advantage they can leverage even if you don’t know what that is right now. If you don’t know what that is yet, then I would recommend taking as much time as you need to identify your personal advantages –(maybe take 30 minutes to 2 hrs)– to think carefully about what your own unique advantages are.

Before you begin your product research I would also suggest that you think carefully about the market and niche you want to sell into. If you’re going to make 10K+ every month from a small number of products then you’ll want to choose a market and niche that you’re going to be happy selling into on an ongoing basis.

In my opinion you don’t really need to know a great deal about the niche you choose however you WILL need to be willing to learn and research the topic. That is, if you’re going to enter the marketplace with a winning range of products.

The reason you’ll need to do the research upfront is because you’re going to be developing a real ‘physical’ product that has a huge demand in your chosen niche. Therefore you’ll need to understand what the consumers in your chosen market desire, what pains and frustrations they’re feeling and what ‘itch they need scratching’ right away (–it’s also good to know the reason they’ll be willing to spend money for you to scratch that itch and solve their problem!–).

Therefore if you DO have any previous experience in a select marketplace then you might want to think about selling into that market. When I say ‘experience’ I mean any kind of experience whatsoever. To help identify your unique advantage, take a few minutes to brainstorm and make a list of the following..

>    Any hobbies you enjoy (cooking/dog walking/listening to or playing music/watching videos/playing video

games/knitting/fishing/shopping/personalpampering/etc, etc..)

>    Sports you like to participate in or watch (walking/hiking/gym/home fitness training/football/tennis/ping-pong/fishing/kick-boxing/Frisbee throwing/beaver hunting, etc, etc..)

>    Previous careers or jobs (list all your previous jobs/careers regardless of how important or trivial)

>    Situation or interests you’ve experienced (caring for pets/caring for your children/weight loss/illness and recovery/travelling/any other experience or anything you enjoy, etc, etc..)

After you’ve written you’re list simply take a little more time to consider if you’ve any experience that’s not common to others, or that others might not commonly have. Possibly whilst writing your list something gave you a feeling of excitement

or inspiration whilst you noted them? If so, could this be a good market for you to sell into?

Even if making money is you primary goal, it will definitely be beneficial to you if you complete this exercise and identify your own natural advantage or reasoning for entering a market other than ‘needing or wanting to make money.’

Another thing to remember is..

..the more research and effort you put into developing a unique product in the early stages, then the likelihood of your product being highly successful will definitely increase.

STEP 2 RESEARCH

Use Easily Accessible and Transparent Information From the Largest Online Pool of Buyers in the World!

Of course I’m talking about both Amazon and eBay. It makes sense we use these 2 ecommerce giants to help us understand what’s selling and what’s popular already. There are many other research methods we can also use however to begin with, let’s keep it simple and start with the obvious since this is where all the buyers flock too, every day of the year to spend money.

Things to consider when selecting your market to sell into are..

>    Choose a small niche that can eventually be scaled up, i.e. a sub niche within a main category (–even third and fourth tier categories would be suitable–)

>    Target 5-10 sub niches to begin with

>    Identify one or two products in each sub niche that you research

>    Find out how competitive those niches are (–how many products are being listed and sold, how many existing sellers etc–)

>    What is the ‘product rank’ for those popular products on Amazon

> Look at the reviews –(look at both good and bad reviews for patterns to be able to brainstorm ideas for how you can improve with your product)–

I would recommend choosing just 5-10 products to begin with that you might want to look at testing. From there you can narrow your list down to just 1-3 products that you’ll actually develop.

You might be thinking..

“..but John, how can I make 10k+ every month by selling just 1-3 products?..”

..the answer is, it’s not uncommon to be able to make 10k+ per month with just 1 product, IF you use multiple sales channels and develop a unique product the right way.

Plus, if you’re only selling a handful of products its far more easier to manage the sourcing, ordering, logistics, customer support etc.

You can always add more products later on but you’ve got to walk before you can run. I myself only sell a small number of products which I’ve built up over a number of years. These days I might introduce only 1 group of products each year. The goal is to sell fewer products to MORE customers as opposed to trying to sell hundreds of unrelated products. I.e., get one customer and keep selling ‘related’ products to that same customer time and time again. It’s much easier to profit from an existing customer that to get a brand new customer.

This way you’re able to keep your business easy to mange but also VERY profitable. Later on you can add as many products as you wish.

If getting to 10K+ every month IS your immediate goal, then choosing 5-10 products in your research would be an ideal number of products to begin testing with. You’ll then narrow those products down to keep only the best 1-3 products that will have the most potential that you’ll then develop further.

Also, If the market you’ve chosen already looks bustling with products and sellers then it’s likely going to be financially valuable. (–sellers tend to introduce products

into markets where the money is and the more competition there looks to be then usually the more profit potential is available within that market, so don’t be afraid of competition, it’s actually a good thing!–)

STEP 3 RESEARCH

You’ll Secure Your Financial Success When You Crawl into Your Prospects Mind to Uncover and Solve Your Customer’s Most Pressing Problems that Are Currently Being Underserved

Once you’ve selected a handful of potential products and sub niches to test, the next stage of research is to uncover the hidden gems that are the problems experienced by your potential customers that are not already being solved or are not being solved effectively.

These are the desires that are not currently being met within your chosen niche. If YOU can be the one to remove the thorn from the lion’s paw, you’ll also be the one to trust. As a result you’ll be able to reap the financial rewards long-term for solving the problem more effectively than the competition.

Also, you don’t need a product that’s exponentially superior to what’s already available. You only need a product that’s fractionally better at offering a solution to your customers problems.

To put this into context, think of the Olympic 100m sprint runners. The difference between 1st and 2nd place is likely only fractions of a second – although its ONLY the 1st place runner who gets the MAJORITY of the benefits of winning, simply for finishing the race a fraction of a second faster.

Most online merchants will simply skip this step 3 research entirely which usually results in those sellers introducing ‘me too’ products into the market, as direct competition. This isn’t the way to do it.

The deciding factor that will determine the level of your product’s success will be your ability to identify the itches that aren’t currently being scratched in your market (–these are the problems that are not currently being solved–) or whether you’re products will serve your customers as a better solution to scratch their itch than what’s already available.

To be able to discover what those itches and problems are, you’ll need to spy and go undercover to be part of the conversations your potential customers and buyers are having right now.

Luckily for us, the internet will provide everything you need to do this. You can visit forums and groups with discussions about the problems and current solutions that are currently being offered in your chosen niche. Simply brainstorm the keywords that your potential customers would be typing into Google as they would do searching for help with a specific problem.

Try to think like your target customers would think to be able to search for and research the forums, blogs, product reviews, studies, and public information that has already been posted online by your target market group.

The results of your findings can ultimately arm you with all the information you’ll need to develop your own products to solve the exact problems that your potential customers are currently experiencing.

You’ll Want to Cover Your Derriere!

It will also be in your own interest to check and ensure the products you want to test are actually legal to import and sell in your country. Just because other sellers and merchants are selling similar products, don’t assume the products are legal. I’m simply making sure you dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s here, although it is definitely worth the extra 30 minutes research to ensure the products you want to test are legal to sell in your country.

Look and check for things like..

>    Specific Ingredient breakdowns

>    Electrical compatibility

>    Import classification of products

>    Possible other ‘unintended’ end usage of your products

If you use common sense, it’s not usually all that common to discover you’re potentially selling illegal products. Although, we’ll cover this in more detail later on and I thought it was worth mentioning here also.

Finally, I’ve provided a product scorecard spreadsheet that you’ll be able to use to record your research findings.

You should keep all of your research notes organized and to hand as you’ll want to keep referring to the research notes during actual product procurement and development.

The next stage is to pair you’re supplier’s capabilities with your product ideas to develop and create your unique products and to offer them as you’re customers ultimate solution, (–and as a result, begin to build and secure you’re monthly income–).

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