Most people approach this backwards. They find a product they want to sell and then look for someone to buy it.
Unfortunately, that method rarely works. And when it does, you might search for years to find the right buyer.
However, these five mindset shifts will help you approach product sourcing differently. And put you on the path to answering “What should I sell?” or “What else should I sell?”
Mindset Shift #1: When you start looking at what people WANT rather than “what to sell” your entire perspective on product sourcing changes. To do this you must look outward, turn on your “receiver” and OBSERVE what is going on in the hearts and minds of the consumer. Read what they are reading, listen to what’s being said.
The biggest mistake you can make when sourcing products is to sit at your desk and “try and think of a product to sell”.
Mindset Shift #2: Consumer trends are indicators of what the buyers will be purchasing next. No matter what category you sell in, you have to make it your business to know what trends are happening in that industry. If you sell lamps, you need to keep your finger on the pulse of what type of lamps people are buying. What new styles of lamps are coming into the marketplace? What’s being featured in the consumer magazines?
If you skip the step of studying the trends, you’ll likely go straight to the step of marking down products that didn’t sell. Why? Because you weren’t paying attention to the trends and didn’t source the styles your customers want now.
Mindset Shift #3: Stop chasing mainstream products with the goal of selling what’s ALREADY hot. If you’re just starting out, look at what’s currently popular and then “take a step to the left or right” and look at related products and niches.
Yes, iPods are hot and everybody wants to sell them. But thousands of successful home-based businesses have been built in the multi-BILLION dollar iPod RELATED products industry.
If you’re already in business, focus on looking for new product innovations and then expand your reach by delivering additional products that appeal to your existing customer base or grow the scope of your target market.
Mindset Shift #4: Always offer different levels of the same product, i.e., entry level, mid-range and deluxe versions. If you’re not offering different levels of products, you’re eliminating entire groups of customers who would otherwise purchase from you.
Without vertical versions of products, your customers don’t have the option to buy an upgraded or deluxe version from you. Your goal should be to give your customers choices. To offer options they might not even know exist – that is, until they find it in your store.
Mindset Shift #5: Always test market products before buying inventory in bulk or making any long-term product line decisions. Testing is the ONLY way you will know DEFINITIVELY whether or not a product is right for YOUR business.
Buy a few units representing different styles, colors and brands of products and see how your customers respond. They’ll vote with their wallets as to which they like best. Once you’ve tracked your test results, THEN expand on what works.
Product sourcing can be one of the most fun, creative aspects of running your business, when you do it right!
Get step-by-step training on exactly how to source the products buyers want with Power of 10 Product Sourcing.