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How To Know If A Product Or Service Will Sell (Before You Create It)

Cat LeBlancWhen starting a business one of the big questions you will want the answer to is “Will my product or service sell?”

One way of finding out is to check if what you plan to offer is being sold successfully elsewhere. This shows there is a market for it. Also you can interview potential buyers about their buying habits.

Another method of deciding if a business idea is worth more research, and you can do this without leaving your armchair, is to ask yourself “Does this product or service fulfill a need and how urgent is that need?”

People buy solutions to their problems

And these solutions can be grouped into categories. People are in general driven by very similar needs, and these drive their buying decisions.

So what do people want?

More money

Ok, maybe a very small number of people don’t want more money, but most of us do! Money creates freedom of choice. Any product or service that is likely to make the buyer money is going to be the easier to sell. Sales coaching, investment property and further education are examples of this. Essentially it becomes a no brainer for the customer as long as it is priced correctly.

If your product or service has the potential to make the buyer money, as long as you can clearly communicate that fact and it offers good value, you are on to a winner.

To feel better

Who doesn’t want to feel better? People buying health coaching are not looking for the experience of being coached and maybe not even learning about new ways of eating. Ultimately they are buying the end result – feeling better. Even buying art or home decor make you feel better and more comfortable in your environment.

To have better relationships

Connecting with other people is part of being human. Online dating and self help workshops/groups are just some examples of a products or services that uses this angle. Even restaurants, florists and gift shops are in the business of helping people have better relationships.

To experience

Entertainment and travel is all about experience. People want to try new things and get away from their daily routine.

To look better

People will always want to look better. Skin, hair care and weight loss products fit into this category as does personal training. This also extends to status symbols and luxury goods.

To improve performance

Productivity apps anyone? Anything that saves time fits in here. Business coaching is a popular way for people to improve their performance in business and is something people are willing to pay for as they know it will yield results and save them from potential pitfalls. No need to make other people’s mistakes again!

To protect themselves

Insurance, safety gear and Internet security are examples of products that people buy to protect themselves. This also refers to protecting the status quo. People don’t like to lose anything including any drop in standard of living. If the plumbing breaks, then yes you are going to pay to fix it!


The other factor that comes into play is how urgently do your customers need this problem solved. If you are selling car batteries and your customer is stranded by the side of the road then they are going to be hunting you down wallet in hand. If your product or service is more of a luxury than necessity it is likely to take more effort to sell. Think about where your idea fits into this scale.

Now I’d like to hear from you

What are you thinking of selling in your business?

How does your product or service fit into these categories?

Let me know in the comments below

Business Idea Starter Kit

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