Top Ways to Create a Business Selling Physical Products
Selling a physical product has a ton of advantages over selling digital ones. While digital products have their benefits and have their place, nothing quite beats the broad appeal of selling something tangible that people can actually hold in their hands and use.
The problem is that selling a physical product often requires a little more thought than going digital. In this post then, we'll take a look at some surprisingly easy ways to start a business selling something physical.
Let's get physical!
One option is to sell crafts. If you have the ability to paint, to make jewelry, or to sculpt with clay, then you can turn that hobby into a money making venture – and if you've seen the Penny Blossom episode of Big Bang Theory then you'll already know how this works.
Simply create your product, take some photos for eBay or Etsy, and then sell them! It really is that easy – but make sure that the product you choose is something you can easily make in volume and that doesn't have high CoGS (Cost of Goods Sold).
Etsy is a great option these days as they are becoming more and more popular and appear to have the staying power as a platform to be around for a while.
I suggest doing something that isn't fragile like pottery and something that is small, and lightweight. This will make it easier and cheaper to store if you need to, less expensive to ship and you will have less returns due to damage. Jewelry is nice because if you do it well, you can make something unique and sell it with a good margin of profit.
Reselling, Retailing and eCommerce
Reselling is the oldest business model in the book. All you're doing here is ordering large volumes of something at a relatively low price (this is called wholesale) and then selling those items off individually at a profit. Reselling is a very effective way to make money but involves a small amount of risk because you have to buy inventory. If you start small though, you can reinvest your profit and thereby create a fairly reliable business model.
Let's say you love shoes; you may decide that is something you want to sell online. I suggest you target one or a few sizes and stick with that. Do a men's XL store or a small guy or petite girl niche. This way you aren't having to stock up inventory for all sizes. Maybe you even pick sizes that are close to your own, that way if you had to use the shoes, you could.
Retail can be anything… again, I suggest doing something that isn't fragile…something light and small.
Yes, you can sell physical products as an affiliate. And most people reading this will already know that that means getting commission on sales. The best place to find physical products to sell this way is to go to Amazon, where you can sell pretty much anything you can think of – and through a site that most shoppers will already trust.
Drop Shipping is what many people consider to be the ‘ideal' business model. This basically means you're buying through wholesalers, but you don't have to put in bulk orders. Better yet, you don't need to worry about fulfillment because the company will do that for you! All you need to do is to sell the products and then pass the details onto the wholesaler that will sell the product. Best of all, some companies will even stay quiet and allow you to take credit for the manufacturing by not marking their boxes or receipts and sometimes allowing you to include an insert with your information in the delivery box.
Keep in mind, you are still running a business. Even though you don't handle the inventory, you still have primary responsibility for customer service, ensuring customer satisfaction and handling returns. You are also responsible for marketing and accounting for your business. The upside is that you don't have to deal with manufacturing or inventory yourself… which is a huge piece.
Selling Your Own Product
Finally, you can sell your own mass-produced product. For most people, this will mean coming up with an idea, creating a 3D model and then going to manufacturers in order to get it made.
There are different options today though. For example, how about creating your own book with POD (Print on Demand) publishing? Or you could use a 3D printer and print out simple plastic items this way.
Today, it's easier than ever to sell your own physical products. So, what are you waiting for?
All of these business models are great options to consider if you want to start a physical products business and have an online business. Keep in mind that some of these business models offer easier starting points, like affiliate marketing.
By far, mass producing your own physical product has the longest learning curve and time to launch.
Affiliate marketing offers a great starting point for new entrepreneurs looking for a path to business. This form of business will enable you to start with a focus just on internet marketing and avoid focus on physical product development.