Whether you already own a business, or you’re looking to start a business, you must FIRST develop your core offering and THEN create your channel to sell your offering. If you want more information on how to select your offering, prioritize your suite of offerings, and adapt future offerings, view our recent post here.
With your offering in place, it’s time to focus on your channel. Your channel is what allows you to provide value to the market and turn your idea into an income-generating business.
You don’t need to make a website or sell your product in a brick-and-mortar to start generating income. In fact, there are several ways to sell your offering, right out of the gate, that provide you with cash flow to support future channel development, like a website or storefront. These initial channels combine sales and payment processes, since both are needed to validate your proof of concept, keep the business running, and prepare for scale.
Here are three simple, yet effective, channels for getting your offering off the ground:
- Cash – You can start selling day one and take cash. The downside is this can only be done in-person. Most people will not send checks for online purchases.
- PayPal – PayPal is an online payments system that supports online money transfers. It’s as close to cash as it gets. You can set up a free account in minutes and link it to most online shopping services, like eBay or Facebook. You can also send invoices through PayPal. Because PayPal is trusted and adds buyer protection, many people are willing to order directly with this system.
- Amazon & eBay – Amazon & eBay are a great option to begin mass selling online. Within minutes you can build an account and post your first product. The downside to both is the seller fees, and you are responsible for fulfillment or shipping with eBay. However, both platforms offer a large customer base. With a good offering, you will start seeing sales on day one.
These are three simple, effective channels for generating sales TODAY. With your offering in place, take the initiative to pursue different channels and see which ones work best for you, your business, and your goals.
Don’t get too engrossed in the newest sales method or the newest payment technology. At its core, a channel is simply an interaction between you and your customer. Focus on adding value to your customer, and you will see your offering flourish. And if your offering isn’t flourishing – you should probably reconsider your offering or how you’re interacting with your customers in your channels.
And on that note, stay tuned as we work on developing the third and final installment in this series – Connecting with the Customer.
If you are looking for help developing, fine-tuning, or analyzing your channel, look at our consultant services here or get a copy of The Guide to a Successful Online Business.
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