Have you ever had a brilliant idea for a product?
For the past few years I’ve been selling bamboo baby products on Amazon, and my own website. Before that I taught yoga and way before that I had a career in corporate communications. Of everything I’ve done (and it has been varied) selling physical products has been the thing I’ve found most exciting and enjoyable.
If I’m honest, selling my own products started out as more of a necessity than a passion. With two children at home (one just a tiny baby) and an existing children’s yoga business (where I couldn’t physically teach, as I had a tiny baby!) I was desperate to do something that worked around them and didn’t require too much of my time.
Whether you decide to sell offline, or online, whether you have an existing service business or this is your first venture, whether it’s your full-time gig, you want to make more money, or supplement your income – whatever your situation, I have 10 great reasons to create and sell physical products.
Reason 1. You’re not trading time for money
I want to start by saying you absolutely need to put time into a products business, but you do reach a point where you don’t physically have to ‘be there’ (whether that means at your laptop, or in a physical place) to make money every day. I make the majority of my sales online and, as I have my fulfilment done for me (albeit at a cost), there are days I don’t focus on my business and it carries on making sales.
Reason 2. You can work from anywhere
Selling physical products online gives you the freedom to work from anywhere with an internet connection. While not all of us will be aiming to work from the beach, it’s great to not be tied to a set place. Personally, I like the fact that, while I usually work from my home office, I can also choose to work in a coffee shop, co-working space, or anywhere I like.
Reason 3. You can work (or not) at any time
Selling online means you don’t have to be present at a set time, in the same way you don’t need to be present in a physical place – you can choose to work when it suits you.
There’s also (rarely) any sense of urgency. Sure, you need to respond to customers quickly and there might be steps along the product creation journey where things need to be done to a schedule (although, it’d be a schedule that you set out in the first place!), but you really can set your own hours and work at your own pace.
Reason 4. You can automate lots of processes
I have Amazon FBA manage my storage and fulfilment – meaning I don’t need to physically store, pack and ship products myself. My customer follow-up emails are also automated (although of course I step in and respond personally if required). Refunds and returns are all handled for me. You can outsource lots of things nowadays! All of this automation just lends itself to the time-freedom I’ve already spoken about.
Reason 5. People buying something you’ve created is exciting!
It’s really exciting to see something that started as an idea, or a sketch in a notepad, available for people to buy. And the only thing more exciting than that is people actually buying them, using them, loving them and recommending them!
Reason 6. It can become ‘passive’
I’m not sure there’s such a thing as completely ‘passive’ income but, as I’ve alluded to above, it’s definitely more passive than trading time for money. If you can get to a point where everything’s set up correctly and you’re making sales every day, regardless of whether you’re working on your business or not, I’d class that as passive. You can get sick, or go on holiday and hopefully your business will carry right on without you… (Especially if you’ve automated as much as you can.)
Reason 7. You can run your business how it best suits you
You might start off selling online, then decide you want to start getting out in front of your customers at stalls or events. Or perhaps you’ll decide getting into retail stores is the way forward. Maybe sticking to online selling is what works best for you. My point is, it’s your choice and you can change your business model at any point you want or need to.
Reason 8. There are so many ways you can expand
If you decide you want to grow your business, there are so many options. You can start selling via different channels or marketplaces. You can launch new products. You can even launch an entirely new brand or product line.
Reason 9. It’s an opportunity to learn new skills
If you decide to launch and sell our own products, there are steps involved that you may not have experienced (yet). You’ll learn about research, sourcing and negotiations. You’ll need to think about marketing, finances and customer experience.
Of course, you don’t need to do it all yourself (I’ll come onto that in a minute!), but learning just a few new skills is great for your experience and confidence. Plus, once you know how to create a profitable product you can confidently repeat the process time and time again.
Reason 10. There are plenty of ways to get help – you don’t need to do it all yourself
If you don’t have the time, or desire to do everything yourself, you certainly don’t need to. You can get someone to help you at every step of the process. There are plenty of people out there (including me!) who can help with research, sourcing, copywriting, translations, marketing, accounting, etc. So you definitely don’t need to go it alone!
If you’re interested in taking the first steps towards starting your own products business, take a look at the process.