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Starting an online toy business can be one of the most exciting ventures into entrepreneurship. Not only do you get to be in a fun industry, but one that has room for a fair amount of excitement and innovation as well. And if you’ve been considering getting into the toy industry as an online business, then there are a few things you should think about before you get started. Check them out below:
Research The Market
If you’re going to be entering the toy industry, one of the first things you need to do is start researching the market. As noted by Statista, this an $88 billion industry, and one that has an array of companies. A lot of these firms are split between being big or small, as well as direct sellers or resellers. Finding your place amongst them won’t be easy, however, that’s why you need to study the market with efficiency.
Take a look at what aspects of the toy industry currently interest you, as well as why that’s the case. Go into detail on what type of category you’d consider this to fall under, as well as who your ideal sub-market will be. It’s okay to be a little general and work your way down; for example, looking at things from the categories different toy store resellers, or exclusive toy designers. As you continue along with your research, you’ll start to find where you could fit amongst these toy startups, which is a crucial step towards landing any success in the industry.
Find Your Need Amongst Them
Once you’ve established a good scope for what the toy industry has to offer, it’st time to start looking at where you fit amongst them. This not only includes looking at things from the lens of “does any companies exist like the one I’m trying to start?”, but also from the perspective of “is this something people will want?” Because while you might find an idea no one has done, that’s sometimes for good reason, as there just wasn’t a market need. In fact, according to Fundera, a lack of market need is what causes approximately 42 percent of businesses to fail, and if you’re looking to avoid that, then you need to establish a need for your business amongst the marketplace.
In looking at what you aim to offer to the toy industry, first ask yourself what exactly separates you from the competition? Is it your design? How you function? The products you’re offering? This can all add up to how you address a market need. An excellent example is Jizels, which offers custom adult toys at a reasonable price, giving the modern, tech-savvy consumer the ability to shop discreetly but still get something tailored to their needs. Compiling a strategy that’s simple to understand and execute like that is vital because when people start seeking out your brand, they’re going to want something that will resonate across the board.
Come Up With A Stellar Brand
With a rough idea for your product in place, it’s time to establish a stellar brand to coincide with it. Your brand is probably going to be one of the most important aspects to landing more sales. The challenge, however, is coming up with something cohesive that wins over both the parent and child, ideally with an image that resonates long-term. This is especially smart, as branding is something that’s part storytelling, part science, permanently embedding a mental image in your head that resonates through time. And for your toy company, finding this will involve taking a look at why exactly you entered the toy business in the first place.
To begin, take a look at what your current lineup of toys entails, as well as why other people will resonate with them. What, specifically, is the purpose or impact you’re trying to make on the toy industry? From there, take a glance at what type of color, symbolism, or typography resonates closely with the personality of your brand. These little bits can add up to quite a bit because as noted by Ragan, color increases brand recognition by 80 percent, which is quite the significant figure to consider. Remember, your brand is going to be everywhere your toy company is, so make it something that sticks.
Become A Social Guru
Finally, with all the components necessary to become an online toy store in place, it’s time to start letting the world know what you’re about. Considering you’re most likely trying to bootstrap this project, getting a solid ROI on your investment is imperative, which starts with social media. This is perhaps your most influential tool out because as noted by Social Media Week, 74 percent of buyers make their purchasing decisions based on social media. Yes, this is a massive market, but also one that requires quite a bit of legwork and foundation building, especially with how competitive it can truly be.
When looking to start engaging on social, one of the first considerations you should make is what type of platforms you need to build upon, as well as how you’re going to establish a foundation upon them. For example, if I were looking to develop my Instagram presence, utilizing an agency like Social Gone Viral would give me the chance to host more genuine engagement. Try to brainstorm a few different ideas for each specific channel you’re aiming to reach, giving you the best chance of cultivating a long-term customer base into the future.
What excites you the most about starting an online toy business? Comment with your answers below!