What's for Sale?

Ready to break into a new market? These 29 questions will help you determine if selling a product is worth it.

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By Brian Tracy

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

To succeed as an entrepreneur, you must develop the ability toselect and offer the right products or services to your customersin a competitive market. More than any other factor, your abilityto make this choice will determine your success or failure.

Fully 80 percent of the products and services being consumedtoday are different from those that were being consumed five yearsago. And five years from today, fully 80 percent of the productsbeing used will be new and different from those being usedtoday.

There are thousands of products and services available toconsumers today. And there are unlimited opportunities for you toenter the marketplace and compete effectively with a new product orservice that's better in some way than what's already beingoffered by your competitors. Remember, your skill at choosing thatproduct or service is critical to your success.

The most important thing you can do before deciding what to sellis to think. And the more you think about a product or servicebefore you bring it to market, the better your decisions willbe.

So how do you start? To make a product successful, you must bepersonally and emotionally committed to its success. Onceyou've got a product or service in mind, you need to begin witha self-analysis:

  • What kinds of products do you like, enjoy, consume and benefitfrom?
  • Do you like the product or service you're planning tosell?
  • Can you see yourself getting excited about this product orservice?
  • Would you buy it and use it yourself?
  • Would you sell it to your mother, your best friend, yournext-door neighbor?
  • Can you see yourself selling this product or service for thenext five to 10 years?
  • Is this a product or service that you intensely desire to bringto the marketplace?

Then analyze the product or service from the customer'spoint of view:

  • What does the product achieve, avoid or preserve for thecustomer?
  • How does the product improve your customer's life orwork?
  • What kind of customers will you be selling the product to?
  • Do you personally like the customers who'll be buying thisproduct or service?

Imagine that you've hired a management consultant to getadvice on introducing this new product or service. They'regoing to cut right to the chase and ask you these very objective,bottom-line questions about the product:

  • Is there a real demand for the product at the price you'llhave to charge?
  • Is the demand large enough for you to make a profit?
  • Is the demand concentrated enough so you can advertise, selland deliver the product at a reasonable expense?

Dig even deeper into the potential success of your product orservice by determining the answer to the following criticalquestions:

  • What is to be sold, exactly? Describe the product in terms ofwhat it does for the customer.
  • To whom is the product going to be sold? Describe your idealcustomer.
  • What price will you have to charge for the product for it to beprofitable?
  • Who's going to sell the product?
  • How is the product to be sold? What method of sales, or processof promotion, will you use?
  • How is the product or service to be manufactured orproduced?
  • How is the product going to be paid for and by whom?
  • How is the product or service going to be delivered to thecustomer?
  • How is it going to be serviced, repaired, guaranteed orreplaced?

And you're not done yet. There are a series of additionalquestions you need to ask before you make a final decision on a newproduct or service offering.

  • Is there a real need for the product or service in today'smarket?
  • Is your new product or service better than anything elsecurrently available?
  • What are the three ways that your product is superior to yourcompetition?
  • Is your product lower priced or of better quality than anythingelse that is available?
  • Do you think you could become the number-one supplier in themarket for this product or service?

For a product or service to succeed, it must be the rightproduct, being sold at the right time, to the right customer, inthe right market. It must be produced and sold by the rightcompany, and the right people. What you have to decide is this: Isthis product right for you?


Brian Tracy is the "Success Secrets" coach atEntrepreneur.com and one of America's leadingauthorities on entrepreneurial development. He's producedmore than 300 audio and video learning programs that cover theentire spectrum of human and corporate performance.

Brian Tracy

Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP

Chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, Speaker and Author

Brian Tracy is chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International. He is the leading coach on the topics of leadership, self-esteem, goals and success psychology. Learn more at BrianTracy.com

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