What Can YOU Sell To Make A Buck?

Lots of people fancy going into business. It's got a certain glamour over the past twenty years. You and I certainly would like to be making the deals, hopping in and out of flash cars, shouting down a telephone, getting an ulcer, divorcing the first wife and marrying a model far too young for us, our kids becoming strangers over the years ...  and ... um ... well,  you get the idea.

Thing is, what do you actually sell? What can you offer that people will pay good money for?

Here are a few ideas.

1. What is your area of interest?

It'll be tricky to sell something you don't know. Those guys who were raised in a kitchen know the restaurant business far better than you. Guys whose fathers were plumbers have a head-start in the building trade. These men will be your competitors.

Traditionally, people focus on what they know. If your Dad was a postman you'll have a job getting ahead in retail. So you go work in someone else's store for a while to see who the whole thing works.

Typically, entrepreneurs make a good or a service. Nowadays, these have a web-based element, as it's a lot easier to sell nationwide via a website than from a store.

Goods: You offer goods sourced from places like Poland or China, which are of high quality and/or cheap. Ideally, these are made to your unique specification, so you get ahead of your competition. Or, they could be hand-made in Sussex by craftsmen and you sell them to the aspiring middle and upper classes.

Don't sell the same cheap junk as everyone else in an overcrowded niche. You'll sweat to earn your bread.

Services: you condense your life-experience in a course, book, or hourly service. You market this online and in the 'real world'. If you people like you as a person, you can do quite well. See, that's what all those flash gits you see online are doing: they're selling their persona. They're 'Jerry Womble, The Phlogiston Guy!'

Software: You should probably avoid trying to create this. If you don't know programming, you may be taken advantage of. It can be very expensive to get even a simple app made. This niche is for the nerds; they live to code, and they love it.

2. What would you enjoy?

Now, this can be a trap. Dull minds will tell you "do what you love" without thinking whether there's any money in it. Lots of people love horses. They love animals. But the way to make money in that field is to sell tackle and feed; sell the 'drug paraphenalia' to the 'addicts', and don't become one yourself!

Stable lads and zoo-keepers get paid slave wages because their employers know if one leaves there are twenty who'll clamour to take their place. Music shops are passing out the gear to hapless slaves to their own emotions. I'd guess the more successful ones left their own dreams of stardom behind a long time ago. Supply and Demand is what it's all about.

500,000 people want to be Number 1 in the Top 20. They're living in squats. Smart Joey is the one selling them the studio time while keeping a few other sidelines going at the same time.

3. So what do you do?

- You've figured out a niche ...
- You think about how you're doing what you're doing ...
- You get some business software ...
- You outsource the boring stuff ...
- You keep abreast of current events ...
- You start selling as a sole trader until your accountant tells you ...
- You have to set up a limited company ... 
- You get a bank account ...
- And a merchant account ...
- And you set up a website ... 

Then ...

- You get on with your marketing ...
- And get more traffic!

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