How a little bit of research and planning will lead you to surefire success…

Tomorrow I have the joys of my youngest daughter’s annual school summer fete to contend with!

This year I have been assigned to the ‘Choco Fruit’ stall which involves copious amounts of chocolate, some strawberries (for the obligatory healthy option) and a job lot of marshmallows thrown in for good measure.

My fantastic idea of doing a parents version – i.e. adding a huge glug of Brandy to the proceedings (in a separate pan of chocolate obviously) was shot down in flames by the Fundraising Committee much to my disappointment.

Maybe that’s why I wasn’t given the option to help in the Pimms Tent this year…

Anyway, the build up to the big day – one of the biggest and best chances to swell the coffers in the school calendar – has been going on for weeks with seemingly endless research, planning and list-making.

I have to say that the Chairwoman has been fantastic – organized, on the ball and very enthusiastic – she’s done a sterling job with this years fete and I’m certain all that planning, list-making and research will pay off tomorrow!

… Which brings me on to the subject of this week’s eletter: research and planning.

I’ve recently been researching some new products to resell on eBay and Amazon for my personal inventory because I felt that it was about time I added something new to run alongside my existing products. If you follow me on Twitter ( you’ll definitely have noticed that I was up to something!

So, last week I set about doing my research. But I didn’t just flit around the internet sourcing different products and categories! I planned it all out.

This is exactly what you must do when you are serious about selling something new or starting an online business.

Researching and product sourcing

Here’s what I did:

First, I decided upon the category and niche I wanted to sell within.

To do this I concentrated on a category that I have sold in before but I picked a new niche – something that I am familiar with in my everyday life, but haven’t got previous experience of selling.

Next, I researched my chosen niche (using the exact same methods that I detail in my Ultimate Product Sourcing Secrets course), to find out which products were the hottest and best selling, making a note of popular products and keywords as I went.

This is very important because it’s the step you must take in order to find your market.

Remember! It’s always ‘Market first. Product second’.Think about it, there is absolutely no point in ordering 1000 widgets just because you like the look of them. How do you know other people will like them? How do you know other people will want to buy them?

You don’t.

That’s why research and planning is important.

So, from my research I made a list of the most popular products in my chosen niche and I then started researching suppliers.

Again, I didn’t just wander around Google aimlessly searching, jumping from website to website at random getting side-tracked the minute I saw something that I liked.

I was on a mission! I knew the exact product I was after and I stuck to it.

When I entered a search for a wholesaler into one of the search engines, I made sure that I used the name of the product (not necessarily a brand name) I was looking for rather than a general search for wholesalers in the niche.

To put it simply: I did a ‘wholesale product search’ rather than a ‘wholesale niche search.’ And that’s exactly what you should plan to do.

Now, I have to admit it took me about five hours to find the product I was looking for at a price where all the figures added up. As J.R.R Tolkien said:

“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.”

So very true. But you just have to keep on looking.

I’m telling you this so you are aware that finding suppliers is not a walk in the park for anyone – including me – and you shouldn’t throw your toys out of the pram if you don’t find what you want immediately.

You need to stay focused, research your niche and your product thoroughly and then stick to it rigidly as you move on to the next step in the process.

So, after checking out the supplier – I telephoned, emailed and their website and address – I ordered a sample batch to check the quality of the product.

These arrived the following day and to my delight were excellent. In fact I was so impressed with the delivery time and the quality of the products that I emailed the supplier immediately to let them know just how pleased I was.

This is called ‘future planning’ because by doing this I’ve started to build up a rapport with my new supplier. They like me because I’ve said nice things about them and they will be hoping I’ll recommend them to others (plus I’ve got more chance of bagging a bigger discount next time I order if I’m complimentary!)

So, you see, if you think about what you are doing, what you are looking for and you do your research properly and plan your next move, you can only end up being successful.

Tip: The products I ordered were just in a small batch so that I could test them online and judge the full potential of their resale value.

Now listen to this…

I’ve never sold this product before so eBay have no history of me selling it and therefore no reason to rank me highly in the search results.

But! When I listed, my position on eBay was on the fourth page of results using the keywords I had researched and knew were the ones that potential buyers would be inputting.

Ok, page four isn’t fantastic BUT remember that this is a brand new product with no previous sales history.

Oh, and if you think there was no chance of selling from page four, think again! I listed on a five day Buy It Now and it sold less than 24 hours later – and it wasn’t even the cheapest item on the page!

That’s the power of a hot product, research and planning.

My item sold quickly because I researched my niche, I planned my keywords and I wrote a cracking listing description with lots of images and all the information a potential buyer required.

There is no reason why you can’t do this too. I know that research and planning can be boring, but it’s the little details that will make all the difference to your success.

Try it and let me know how you get on!

As always I wish you the very best of success,