All great products begin with an idea. The trick is to learn how to take that idea and turn it into a business.
Your idea can be turned into a tangible product even if you don’t know how to create the product yourself. In a world of online marketplaces, freelance sites, and free information, nothing should hold you back from creating your own product.
I’ve put together a list of steps for you to follow to take a problem all the way to a solution and eventually, create a great product.
Step 1: Find a problem
I started my online business by solving a problem. I was searching for some specific stock data, and it was extremely hard to find. Once I found the information I was looking for, I was disappointed because I had to pay to get it. I was not about to pay, so I kept searching, and eventually I figured out how to get the information for free. I decided that I could create a website that displayed this data to people without charging them, so I did it. It was a huge success. Why? I solved a problem. Not to mention that I also made some additional money by running ads on the site.
You’ve probably had a similar experience either online or in real life, and that is the absolute best place to start solving problems– your own experiences. Ask yourself what you think is missing from what you find online. Maybe there is a product you wish you had or a service you wish you could use. If you can’t think of something on your own, there are plenty of places online where you can observe the problems people have. Check out forums, answer sites, and how-to sites. They each attempt to solve a problem, which gives us great insight into the questions people need answers to. Once you find a problem that you have a solution for, create a useful product and promote it.
The best Internet products solve problems. Sometimes the problems are big– like creating an online marketplace for people to sell junk (ebay). Sometimes the problems are small, like my stock data service. Some products solve problems that people don’t even know they have. Twitter and Facebook are great examples of that.
Step 2: Develop a Solution
Once you’ve identified the problem that you want to solve, you need to develop a solution. There are three likely categories that your solution will fit into. Each of these categories allows for one-time sales and recurring memberships.
Product “ Products are straightforward. You can sell physical products or software products. You can even sell other people’s products.
Services “ There are three models that people use to make money from services online. Free: which gives away a service and then uses ads to create revenue. Paid: you sell a service. Freemium: you create a service that you give away for free and then try to up sell people to a premium version of the same product.
Information “ Anyone can provide information. But creating valuable content that people want to read, driving traffic to your website, and monetizing your traffic is not quite as easy. Blogs, news sites, video sites and many other types of sites provide information. Most Internet users are still against paying for content. The most common model used is to give away the information and run backend monetization methods like advertising and affiliate marketing to turn a profit.
Step 3: Create Your Product
At this point you have an idea and you should know what category or form you want to use to provide your solution. Now it’s time to create your product. Hopefully you have already read our post on thinking like a rich person and you are already thinking how can I do that, and not, I don’t know how to do that.
Unless you have a lot of experience in the industry of the product you are going to create there is a chance that you’ll need some assistance in getting things off the ground. You will probably need a website, product management software, and a payment solution.
If you have the time and you want to save money you can learn how to do all of these things on your own. I’ve read books and done endless searching online to help me figure out how to create some of the products I now own. If you start asking questions, you will find the answers you’re looking for. If learning to do it on your own isn’t feasible, then there are plenty of freelancers waiting for you to post a job.
Elance and Odesk are the two freelance websites I use to find contractors to complete some projects for me. You simply write a description of the product you want created, and freelancers will bid on the opportunity to complete your project. The more specific you are the better your results will be. Always make sure to ask for samples of previous work to make sure you’re get the most bang for your buck.
Places like the Amazon Mechanical Turk bring you thousands of workers ready to complete simple tasks for cheap. Lots of these types of marketplaces are out there. You just have to look for them.
Here are a few other sites that may have resources you need to get started:
- Freelancer – Hire freelancers
- Guru – Hire freelancers
- Virtual Assistant – Hire a virtual assistant
- Install WordPress – How to create a blog
- Text Broker – Hire people to write for you
- Logo Tournament – Get 50+ designers competing for your logo
Time to get started! Find a problem you want to solve, come up with a solution and then create the product that solves that problem. The cheapest way to make your product is to learn how to create the product yourself. You are just a few Google searches away from getting started. If you can’t create the product on your own there are plenty of people out there ready to work with you to help you create your product.
If developing your own product is too big of a project for you, try starting an Amazon store that sells Amazon products through your website. Amazon pays a commission for each referral you make. Ebay does the same thing, along with many other major online stores.
Got Questions? Make a comment below and I’ll do my best to help you out.