While millions of aspiring entrepreneurs promote their ideas across the social virtual web, very few actually take their ideas to market. These days, many aspiring start-ups turn to crowdfunding sites for easy cash, but most of them fail in the end. While you can find lots of stories about entrepreneurs raising capital on crowdfunding sites, their successes are less than 2%, and 50% of those companies fail within 18 months after the crowdfunding campaign is over.
The truth is money doesn’t make up for a bad product. Don’t get me wrong – your product may work great, but if it doesn’t sell then it’s still a bad product. There is only one way to find out if a new product is good and that means testing it with unbiased consumers on the web. If it sells then it’s good and if it doesn’t sell, then it’s bad. It’s really that simple.
It may sound stupid, but many aspiring entrepreneurs still need to be coaxed to the web when it comes to product testing. I get dozens of emails each month from aspiring entrepreneurs asking me for some magic bullet to get their products noticed, but there is no magic bullet except for publicity. And you can’t get publicity unless your product is on the market. So you just have to get out there and do it and that means testing your product with consumers on the web.
If your company or product is completely new, don’t bother wasting time trying to secure stores or distributors until you first prove some sales. Not only will this data help you get retailers, but it will also help you perfect your product. Amazon customers provide direct feedback (good, bad and ugly) for your products and eBay now offers product reviews as well. Both Amazon and eBay are great places to start when it comes to launching a legitimate product.
Start by securing a seller account on Amazon and eBay and of course your own website. There are also other third party selling platforms, but Amazon and eBay are still the most important. Make sure your product has a UPC code. (Search Google to find out how)
Be patient when it comes to sales – especially with your own website. Without publicity – it’s doubtful you’ll get any sales the first few months. Amazon and eBay will be your best bet for sales of any new product. If your ebay and Amazon account are new, it may take more time to gain sales traction. Give it at least 24 weeks (6 months) before you make any decision about the product based on sales momentum.
If your product is a flop – there will be less than 4 units sold per month. Even sales for a top selling product start out slow unless you get publicity, but you need to get at least one sale per week to be a potentially viable product. As long as you sell at least one unit per week on any given online sales platform, the product has legs.
Here's an example of a "Hero Product":
We launched Cocodent Coconut Oil Toothpaste in March of 2015 on Amazon and by May we were selling 20 units per week. By August we were selling 50 weekly and today we sell more than 100 weekly on Amazon alone. Cocodent is also a strong seller on eBay, iHerb and our own website at Greensations.com.
Here’s a quick way to calculate the popularity of a product on Amazon and eBay:
1: (1 unit) weekly – Minimal allowed sales - product could grow.
2: (2-4 units) weekly – Okay product that is growing.
3: (4-10 units) weekly – Good product with excellent growth potential.
4: (10- 50 units) weekly – Great product (Potential Hero) with guaranteed growth.
5: (Over 50 units) weekly – Hero Product that will make you a millionaire if you’re lucky.
Finally, be prepared for the reviews. The more your product sells, the more reviews you will get and that means the good, the bad and the ugly. Your product will never please everyone, but if 75% of customers give it above a 3 star review - you're golden. Good luck with your invention.......you;re gonna need it.