37 ways to sell your 'thing' | little biz brainstorm

i have heard from a couple of mums recently who have an idea of what they want to do for a really little business. so now what? (thank you ladies for contacting me, it was so great to chat. i look forward to working with you some more!)

ok, you have an idea of something you’d like to sell. it might be a product, a service, or some information. so now you’re thinking – what will i call my biz? where will i get a logo? i need to get business cards and a website! oh my! .....STOP. don’t worry about that stuff yet. it is really easy to get caught up in naming your little biz and designing logos, but before you know it months have gone by and you haven’t even seen if anyone is going to buy what your selling.

right now, today, print out your name and number and email address on some card and start selling your thing. you won’t know if your idea is going to fly until you actually try selling it to some one. how are you going to sell it? here are some ideas to get you thinking:

(oh, if you haven’t checked out the little biz brainstorm part 1 or part 2, now might be a good time to do that. go now, then come back to this, we can wait...)

products:

  • from your home
  • in other people’s homes – partyplan or direct sales style (think Tupperware)
  • set up your own shop
  • display in someone else’s shop
  • in conjunction with another biz that targets the same clients (e.g. wedding cakes paired up with a wedding florist)
  • from your own website
  • on ebay
  • on marketplace sites like etsy (for handmade products)
  • on classified sites like craigslist (or your local equivalent)
  • catalogues and flyers
  • at local markets
  • at community events (schools, community centres, churches etc.)
  • at tradeshows & fairs

services:

  • via a website or blog
  • online - become a ‘virtual-assistant’
  • from your home
  • go into other people’s homes
  • go some place public
  • rent space
  • on classified sites like craigslist
  • hand out flyers
  • approach local businesses that can benefit from your service, or who will outsource to you
  • pair up with someone offering services that fits with yours
  • offer it to groups of people at once

information:

  • blogging
  • write and sell an eBook online
  • one-on-one coaching
  • group workshops
  • telephone/skype consultations
  • instructional manual or workbook
  • online courses
  • video tutorials
  • audio podcasts
  • start a membership site
  • start a network online or locally
  • partner up with someone offering complimentary information
  • go to local groups or businesses that would find your information useful

be creative! if all the other folks are selling jewellery at the craft market you go into people’s homes and do it party-plan style. if all the other folks are doing bootcamp fitness instruction at the beach you go straight to the client’s house and do it in their backyard. if all the other folks are doing one-on-one consulting to feng shui a home you start a local network and offer group seminars.

there might be more than one way to sell your thing. in fact you might need to pair up some of these ideas to make it work. and there are probably really good ways and really crappy ways to sell depending on what your thing is. so start talking to people, get some feedback. see what fits your thing, your budget, and your know-how. but the main thing is to start selling! 

(ps: once you start selling, or at least start networking or blogging or building interest in your stuff, or even giving it away to test it out, then start thinking about names and logos and business cards and websites. you can do that stuff while you are selling!)

what other ways can you think of to sell something? add it in the comments! =)