In his book, The 4 Hour Work Week, Tim Ferriss advocates setting up a product that sells online, generating profit for minimal effort. Before spending a lot of money and time on setting it up, he recommends spending some money with Google Adwords to promote to test the product you’ve decided could be your muse. I think for some products, Facebook ads would also be a good place to place ads.
Ebay is another place you can test whether there is a demand and how much people are prepared to pay, which will give you a good idea of how much to pitch a product for. You need to pull the product before the sale ends though to avoid getting into trouble with ebay people.
To take advantage of Adwords, have the link direct to a sales page (that you’ve created with WordPress – or got your Biz Tech Wiz to set up) where the buy now button, instead of linking through to a payment page, links through to a ‘sorry, we are currently awaiting new stock’.
You can add a bit more sophistication and have an interim page that filters out the price browsers, so that they fill in their name and email and on hitting buy now get the ‘sorry out of stock page’. Then you’ve collected their name and email so that when you decided that this is a goer, you can email these potential customers to let them know you’ve got stock and give them a link to a live purchase page.
And there you have your muse – generating income on autopilot.