How To Find the Perfect Product Niche For Your Home Based Business

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Once you’ve found your niche market (see previous post) one that is seeking solutions to a problem – how do you come up with a product or service that solves the problem?

Let’s brainstorm again… you need to come up with a comprehensive list of ideas for potential solutions. Don’t edit your ideas at this stage and don’t worry about how to develop your idea, just get creative and brainstorm. Don’t hold back!

As you brainstorm ideas think of services and products.  If you need inspiration, look at the products or services of your competitors and think of ways of improving them.  Are there other aspects of the problem they don't address?  Are they too expensive or two difficult for beginners to use or comprehend?  Are they too specialised or not specialised enough?  Or is there simply not the level of expertise available to address the problem properly?

The main thing is to ask yourself what you could offer that no one else is offering the market.  How can you make your solution different from anything else that is available?

One customer I worked with last year, (Jane Grey), wanted to sell her artwork via the Internet.  She wanted to produce greeting cards but when she researched into the market she realized there was a lot of competition for mass produced greetings cards.  She knew she would have a hard time trying to sell her work in such a competitive market but by spending time finding a small niche market, Jane realized there was a considerable demand for high-quality handmade cards.  Jane now produces handmade individual cards, not only with her artwork but also with dried flowers and other materials.  She sells them at a premium on her web site and already has sales of over $45,000.

Keep all possibilities in mind.  Your hot product idea may come from the most unlikely source and something completely different to what you could have ever imagined! Think outside the box!

Will it sell?

Before you get excited about your product you need to check it is actually suitable for selling over the Internet.  Many people fail on just this one aspect.  Is your product large or heavy and likely to cause delivery problems?  Customers may not be willing to pay high delivery charges and your profit margins may not allow you to subsidize this.

Another thing to consider is the time it takes for delivery.  Some customers simply won't wait several days for their goods once they've bought something online.  Consider these issues when deciding what product or service to offer.

If your product or service is something already available in offline locations such as shops you need to have a very special advantage to make your customers choose you instead of your offline competition.  For example, if you are selling garden plants that people can buy in the local garden center you’ll need something a bit different to tempt them into buying online. Perhaps cater to the disabled who can't get out to the shops or offer exotic plants, which are not available in garden centers.

Electronic products are usually a good bet to offer over the Internet and are virtually pure profit.  Electronic products include things like e-books or a paid subscription newsletter.  There is software available on the Internet to enable you to create e-books very easily and they will produce very professional looking results. Do you have specialized knowledge that you could use to create an e-book?

At the end of the day you have to make sure that you produce something people are willing to buy over the Internet and something that doesn't cost a fortune to get delivered to your customer’s front door.

Identifying a niche market and generating ideas for products or services that solves the markets’ problems is undoubtedly a challenging stage of developing your business… but it can be the most rewarding.  To be successful any online business has to have a viable market and an effective product or service that customers demand.  When you’ve found this, you're well on your way to establishing a profitable business.