Today you don’t have to create your own products or negotiate with wholesalers to start a product-based business. While you can do those things, there are other opportunities to find products for your business.
1. Affiliate programs. Thousands of companies pay people to refer new customers and contacts. Most of these programs are free to join making them an affordable work-at-home option. Further they provide a website and marketing tools. Your job is to get people to your special site to sign up or buy. While it sounds easy, the real work is in marketing. Simply having an affiliate link doesn’t make money. Getting people who want that product or service to visit the link and buy does. To find affiliate programs visit an affiliate network such as Commission Junction or ClickBank or use your favorite search engine to find affiliate programs related to your idea.
2. Direct sales. Direct sales is a step up from affiliate marketing. It still involves referral marketing, but is more like owning your own business. Although not free, it’s usually very affordable to get started. Most companies provide a kit, training, tools and much more. Further in a multi-level plan, you will have a personal coach to help you get started. This type of plan also will pay you extra for helping others start their own business. The key to being successful is to choose a company with products an services you like, make sure its legit, reading ALL materials (many people who complain could have avoided problems if they read the fine print), and take action. Visit the Direct Sales Association for a list of DSA member companies.
3. Wholesale/Drop ship. If you can find a good source of a great product, this option allows you to buy products (usually in bulk) at steep discounts so that you can resell them for profit. Some people sell their finds at flea markets or bazzars, online, or through eBay. All are good options; however, there are many disreputable wholesalers and drop shippers. Read all the requirements, test the products (selling bad products will reflect poorly on you), and get references.
4. Make your own. Do you make soap? Crafts? Doo Dads? Gadgets? If so you can sell them. Like wholesale products, your own creations can be sold online, through eBay, etsy or your own site. You can sell them at flea markets or consign them in specialty shops related to your product.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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