Are you selling what people want to buy?

A couple of women from a local job-finders group just stopped into my office.  They are walking around to gather information about the businesses in our town.  They had only just begun and they were surprised by how many different kinds of businesses there are tucked away.  I was once asked for what I look for when assessing the entrepreneurial spirit of an area.  “I look to see how niched the businesses are,” I replied promptly.  “Not just plumbers, or renovation plumbers, but plumbers specializing in bathroom remodeling in a Victorian style with claw foot tubs.”

How do you get to that point?

Most people start a business aiming pretty widely.  They start as a plumber for hire.  They may prefer renovations over new installs.  As time passes, they may do some jobs involving claw foot tubs.  If they have a passion for it and if people are interested they will develop more expertise.  They’ll find out who has a few in the back yard; who refurbishes them; who has the taps that fit them.  Eventually, people will get to know that they are the ones to call about claw foot tubs.

This happens because they tested the market as they went.  They listened to what people wanted and they followed their passion at the same time.  They won’t be working with the tub insert crowd and they won’t be working with the whirlpool crowd.

I told the women from the job-finders club that starting a business is an option and that I help people in business. That sparked for one of them as her eyes lit up.  She told me her passion is retail – sales retail, but (with sagging shoulders) she said that requires too much money and there’s too much involved in setting up a shop.

I told her about a friend of mine who sells environmentally safe products in pop-up spaces about once a month.  She also sells one to one to the people who know her.  I mentioned the farmer’s markets – we have several in the local towns.  There are restrictions about what products can be sold there. There are also craft fairs, specialty shows and flea markets.

It won’t take a big investment, she can start part-time and the best part, I said, is that it’s a way to test what people want.  Once she finds what takes off, she can think about growing into a full time shop.

Keep listening to your customers.  They will tell you what they like of yours.  They will ask for other things.  They most definitely talk with what they buy.

Your Effortless Business is predictable and pays well.  Selling what people want to buy is one of the keys.

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