See my introduction post about writing a business plan for your creative business. So far, we’ve covered:
- Question #1. Why do I want to sell my product?
- Question #2. Where can people find my product?
- Question #3. What am I selling?
- Question #4. Who will buy my product?
- Question #5, When do people use my product?
#6. Why should someone use my product?
So, we’ve covered all the basic 5 W’s of journalism – who, what, when, where, and why (but not in that order). We are now back to our second WHY – as in, why does anybody out there in this great big world want to actually BUY my product?
We’ve already hammered out the important cornerstones of our business plan in the previous questions – what motivates us to sell, the definition of our product, our target market, and the best outlets for selling and promoting our business. Everything next is just extra fun to enhance our plan and outline some action steps.
So, with our already answered questions and established ideas in mind, let’s ponder question #6 – why should someone use my product? To really sell your item, you need to know how it will directly benefit your customer AND be able to effectively communicate that to them in a short, powerful message. Think about all the benefits your product can provide and focus on those when writing your listings or product descriptions.
Being able to express to your customer why they should buy your product leads them to take action. Picture this…you’ve already placed your item for sale in an environment where your target customer shops and visits (since you’ve successfully followed these steps of your business plan, of course!). So here’s your potential customer, we already know they are “more prone” to buying a product like yours…they’re reading your product description, listing, or ad…and now’s your chance to really drive it home! What will you say to them to increase their changes of hitting that “Add to Cart” button?
Don’t focus solely on your literal product. Remember those emotions and values you are “figuratively” selling? Mention those. Do you offer any extras with a sale, like gift wrap or a free card? Do you have a recognizable or high-end brand that lends some prestige to your items? These are all additional reasons someone might buy your product. And most of all, let’s not forget what makes YOUR product different from so many others out there – it’s handmade by you! Let your customer know why buying handmade is awesome.
This question and your answers will tie in with the next question, how do you distinguish your products from the competition? Another way of asking that is to expand on question #6, why should someone use my product instead of another product?
You will need to answer both of these questions to effectively sell your products. First, why do I need to buy a pair of earrings right now? Ok…now I think I do need some earrings, but why should I buy Lazy Owl Boutique earrings instead of another shop’s earrings? Tune in for question #7!
Over the next series of articles, we’ll discuss each of the W’s and H’s individually. Feel free to click here to download a pdf of the business plan questions.