This article is part of the “Off The Grid Marketing: How To Succeed At A Home Grown Business” series.
As companies downsize and layoffs mount, many Americans are scrambling to find ways to make ends meet. Starting an off-the-grid business is a great way for you to become more self-reliant, and ultimately less affected by the ups and downs of the economy. Whether you have visions of a full blown business with millions in sales, or a small basement enterprise that just helps you pay the bills each month, owning your own business can give you a financial resiliency that you don’t get when you work for someone else.
Because owning a business has so many benefits, there’s never really a bad time to start one. There are, however, times when it’s bad to start a certain type of business. Having a great business idea isn’t an automatic guarantee of success. Markets change and customers are fickle. We have to be smart and choose the right product for the right market at the right time.
The first secret of successful off-the-grid marketing is to find what I call the hungry market. Think about this. We all know what it feels like to be really hungry, so much so that our stomach growls loudly enough to hear, and everything inside of us craves food. We want something to eat, and we want it now.
The consumer-driven market is no different. Certain markets are “hungry” right now, while others are not. Today I’m going to share a few of these hungry markets with you.
With the value of the dollar falling and food prices rising, people are scrambling to find ways to keep their food bills down. With food prices rising ever higher and a general pessimistic outlook for the future, people are getting back to basics. Gardening, canning, and general self-sufficiency are key trends right now. This is why I began selling my popular Survival Seed Bank. The Survival Seed Bank has done well for two reasons. First, it gives people a way to realize their own food independence in a relatively short amount of time. Second, it gives them an insurance policy for the future. Other products like freeze dried meals and long-term food storage solutions are also doing well in this niche. Sales of emergency food products and supplies are booming. How might you tap into this niche?
The debt market
Hard working citizens are clamoring to find out how they can become debt-free. Products and services that help people keep more money in their wallets are growing in market share. One new business, Groupon, leverages the intersection of two major trends: the use of social media, and people’s desire to save money. Groupon earns their revenue from advertisers, and broadcasts time-limited special deals through social media. If you have an idea to help people get out of debt and stay out of debt, you have a hungry market just waiting at your doorstep.
With the steady devaluation of the dollar, interest in owning gold has surged. People want to know how to buy gold from reputable sources and not get ripped off in the process. Information products that educate this hungry market are doing well. We’ve done very well with our information product in this niche, Gold Buyers Survival Manual. People aren’t just buying gold, however. Many are selling it to raise cash. Look at the recent rise in popularity of the companies that will buy your old gold jewelry.
The health market is full of endless possibilities. With Obamacare on the doorstep, many people are worried about the future of health care. At the same time, they’re disenchanted with traditional medical care. Alternative medicine – everything from herbal supplements to acupuncture – is booming. Other trends include concierge medicine, medical tourism, and preventative lifestyle changes.
It may appear that frugality is a common theme driving consumer behavior, but it’s not that simple. While frugality is important to consumers, a recent study from Ogilvy & Mather (a leading communications group) revealed some interesting nuances about how people are purchasing in today’s economy.
The research revealed that consumers believe that self-reliance and a mindset of pulling oneself up by one’s bootstraps are the best ways to get out of the current economic mess. These days, consumers are far less likely to sit on the sidelines, waiting for the government or the banks to jump in and fix things. Instead, they’re taking matters into their own hands. That’s why they’re growing gardens and going abroad for elective surgery.
In addition to quality, today’s consumers value trust and transparency in the companies with whom they do business. Consumers are willing to open their wallets when those criteria are met. The old saying, that people do business with people they know, like, and trust, was never more important than now.
Next time: Learn to identify emerging trends to find viable business ideas again and again.