Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey – Workplace Culture Experts & Barefoot Wine Founders

By Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey – Workplace Culture Experts & Barefoot Wine Founders

What Business Is Right for Me?

What Business Is Right for Me? 150 150 MIchael and Bonnie Harvey

Identifying Business Opportunities in Issues

Young folks approach us all the time asking, “What business should I go into?” – as if any and every possibility is an option. This question tells us these people haven’t chosen to “follow their passion”. We discuss how many businesses position themselves as solutions to problems that they experience first-hand.

First, they might ask, “Why hasn’t anyone done this yet?” But this is where a lot of “wantrepreneurs” stop. They don’t commit to learn why. Maybe others have thought about it but weren’t able to profit, or sell their product. Lots of great ideas sit in warehouses and collect dust because they weren’t able to overcome distribution challenges, even though they may have solved the problem.

Many young people spend too much time and money perfecting the product itself, while completely underestimating what it’ll take to get into the marketplace. Usually, they take distribution management for granted. They think, “It’s OK—my idea is so good, it’ll sell itself!” Nope!

The Problem with Selling Online

Many people have the misunderstanding that they can “just sell it online, avoid the middleman, and go directly to the customer.” While this is technically true, several challenges present themselves that are usually overlooked:

First of all, they publicize their idea and market before they even start to protect their ideas. This makes it easy for copycats who already have access to brick-and-mortar stores to swoop in. These people can 1) instantly penetrate the market, and 2) outlast you in court, if it came to that.

Secondly, when considering price, online sales are a race to the bottom. The first thing your customers will do is browse other sites for a lower price or better deal. Even though yours is the original, and high quality, they can’t physically touch it and compare it to the others. They rely on pictures and information only, so in the end, they decide based on price.

Last but not least, you will never see a huge check from a retailer if you continue selling individual pieces directly to your consumers. Your competitors will benefit from discounts for large purchases, which you won’t be able to compete with.

Yes, anybody can sell online. But selling online makes your risk of failure that much greater.

Now, We Can Answer “What business should I go into?”

And that answer is: “Choose one that you can achieve distribution with.” We can’t emphasize this enough—carefully examine the distribution system for your idea even before you finish it. There’s no reason to waste your time if you can’t get to market.

Try engaging someone who has already gotten through the distribution system for your style of product. We think you’ll be surprised to hear what they’ve done differently after understanding what was required.

Consider a distribution advisor, who can save you a lot of time, effort, and money. Think about it this way: They don’t cost—they pay! As advisors ourselves in this realm of business success, we warn against growing faster than you can financially support. We advise our clients to test distribution in a smaller area, so they can identify what will actually be required in a larger area. This experience will decide their strategy for success. And isn’t that the whole point, anyway? Not just coming up with a solution, but actually getting—and keeping—it out there?

So, make an effort to understand the distribution of the business you decide to go into. Then, once you solve a problem, we can all thank you by buying your solution!

For more, read on: http://c-suitenetworkadvisors.com/advisor/michael-houlihan-and-bonnie-harvey/