Someone asked a question during lunch today: “Do you have any ideas what else should I sell?”
This young lady just started an online store selling hair extensions and bags, and she has been thinking of expanding her product line. But she has no idea what else she could offer on her new website. She was expecting me to give her ideas of specific products that she could sell.
In the discussion, some suggested that she offer hair accessories. Another person suggested she offer makeup. While another said she should offer yoga products such as mats and yoga outfits. And the suggestions kept getting weirder and weirder, with one saying she should offer men’s shaving products!
I told her that the best approach to answering her question is by asking the following questions:
- Who is your market and what else do they need?
- What other products are your competitors offering?
- What are the gaps in the marketplace — the products her customers want but are not currently being offered by her competitors?
- What products can she produce or source from her suppliers?
I think this young lady captures the flawed decision making process of many small business owners. She, like many others, make the mistake of looking elsewhere for answers without first trying to understand their market and their business.
The key in making the decision to add to the product mix is to think of your target market and determine what else do they need. Talk to some of your best customers. Analyze your search box to see what visitors are trying to find in your site, paying close attention to those products you don’ have.
Just don’t go around asking your friends what you should sell (unless of course they represent your target audience)