This week has been all about researching ideas and ways to find profitable niches or services that will help solve problems. Here are few ways that I have been trying out:
The first website I go to every morning is Quora, since it has so many questions and answers from people all over the world. It’s a good source of information about different markets and related industries. The reliability of information comes from the number of votes every answer gets from other users.
Off course, you can also post your own question to get specific insights. Keep in mind to make your question tempting for people so they post a response. Boring or too generalised questions generally have low response rates. There are other benefits in terms of advertising capabilities, but you will know about them when you visit the website yourself.
This is perhaps the most common way used by people while brainstorming for ideas. First visit ebay and find the good selling items. You can do this by clicking on the “advanced” option next to the search engine box on the ebay homepage. You can then choose from the various options available on the next page. But do not forget to choose “number of bids – most first” from the last section of “Sort By”. This will ensure you find the most popular products in regards to your search.
NOTE: ebay pulse used to be a feature that showed the most popular items sold on ebay. However, it has been taken off and is no longer available.
Next, go to Aliexpress and find the suppliers/wholesalers of products that you found to be popular and see what price range and profit can you sell products for.
Similar procedure could be followed with amazon best sellers.
However, I would not recommend relying solely on this method for the following reasons:
(1) These trends/products are popular and they became popular because so many people sold and bought them. This means that there is significant amount of activity for the products and you will have to provide a differentiated value proposition for the customers in the industry. In other words you will have to have a different/tempting answer to the question “Why should people buy the product from you instead of your competitors”.
(2) This method doesn’t always show you the future trends or products. It only shows “the stuff that people could get through these websites” but doesn’t actually points to what they or many others “were not able to find”. The “others” also include people who are not familiar with online shopping, such as old people. Considering I am in Australia, where the population of baby boomers is going up, this is a significant market to ignore at a local level. Mark twain once said “to be able to be successful, you will need to find where most people meet and get there first”.
Google Trends & Google Keywords
These are very powerful tools and I am completely in their awe even though I haven’t found anything yet through them. Although, I am still learning how to fully exploit them together and I would highly recommend that you should too. My blog has a video post on how to use them both.
I should also add that this is the best way to look for niches, its very time consuming but I am very confident, it will land you in the ball park of the right target.
Seth Godin’s 999 ideas
This is list of ideas that Seth Godin’s MBA students made. It’s a few years old and I already know few good websites, that have been built around these ideas (I am not sure if the founders used the idea from this list). By the way, Seth Godin is a famous Entrepreneur and writer and has been a source of great inspiration to many fellow entrepreneurs.
Type in google and you will be able to access all of it. I hope it will be able to give you few ideas, if not the list itself, then maybe something related to it will click. Its too long and I am still going through it.
I hope to get my “aha” moment very soon…