I have had a couple of correspondences with a gentlemen on the SCORE website. What follows is a scrubbed version of my recent response to some of his questions:
…….. I started my business and then looked into opportunities that would allow me to grow. In your case, could this mean you start a side business doing something very similar to your present business? Are you in the “HIS PRODUCT” business or are you in a “personalized gift business”? (Is that a good three word description?)
* Could you set up a variety of “HIS PRODUCT” websites and sell them on ebay? The buyer would be responsible for the marketing and you would fulfill the orders? And, you would make money on the website sale…
* Is there an opportunity to wholesale some of the items you use?
* Are there “green” products you might use that would give you an “in” with certain groups? (i.e. Can the ‘HIS PRODUCT’ be made of something that will biodegrade rather than glass/plastic?)
* Can you donate 5% of proceeds to some charity?
* Can you set up an Ebay store (less than $15/month)? I do this right now KNOWING I will take a loss on some of my auctions, but the goal is to get eyes on my products.
* Can you do something (like the custom design idea) that will allow you to send “HIS PRODUCT” over the internet? Yes, it would resemble a email postcard, BUT you could theme it and maybe get some good use out of it. My recent logic is to develop some FREE tool that will draw people because they want to use the tool, and then offer your “paying” service on the side.
As to some of your specific questions:
1. I would not spend $22 on ‘HIS PRODUCT’ unless I was pretty far in the doghouse, BUT I am a father of 4 kids under 13. I am not your target market. If others will spend, then I encourage you to charge appropriately. BUT, if people are not spending, it would serve you well to do something with your price. Either change the content to justify an increase or decrease–your call. If it is a “soft” market, I would encourage you to look at ways to decrease the price.
2. With Google, make sure you are off the “content” network–the clicks are not of very good quality.
3. You can certainly do the “sexy” side if you want. One negative is the site may get blocked as adult content. AND, I am a conservative guy, so mixing the two would be an issue for me. However, you may want to consider a different site to market those more adult items.
If you knew the product, the post might be more relevant, but if you are reading this, I hope y0u got something out of it.
Until next post….