Quick: What are some of the items sitting around your desk?

These products (staplers, mailers, tape, and more) had to come from somewhere and there’s no shortage to the amount that these products are being purchased considering that they’ve become required for businesses to operate.

Now, what if you could become that middle-man (affiliate) between the companies providing these items and the businesses that have a constant request for them? Sounds profitable, right?

Assessing the Office Product and Mailing Niche

There are many big questions you should try to understand before tackling this market, including:

  • When’s the proper time to promote? Since businesses are always running (with the exception of a few holidays) when’s the best time to promote? Generally, you’ll want to do heavy promotions during quarterly statements and purchase orders but small businesses often go month-to-month so constantly keep at it.
  • Who’s buying? Is it the office manager? The business owner? Call around (yes, call) and talk with people making the buying decisions – use this as a starting point for your customer research.
  • What’s the potential? Do you know the amount businesses are investing in these products? What advertising they consume before making a decision? Who they’re talking with? Using keyword, advertising, and demographic research, dig into whatever information you can find about your potential customers (call them, email them, become a customer, get on the inside).

Here’s something to consider:

It may be based around the UK but we know that business is business, as usual.

Products and Service worth Promoting

The following are some of the products you should consider when promoting within this niche:

  • Printers & Printer Consumables: All businesses rely on hard copy which means business owners are always on the lookout for bigger, better printers and the supplies to keep them running.
  • Communication Tools: New phones, fax machines, VOIP headwear, mailers, and envelopes – this category goes on forever and will always be required to successfully operate.
  • Employee Education: Promote products that educate employees and business owners on the best practices for their specific industry (training manuals, white papers, information products, video tutorials, and more).
  • Office Essentials: Staples, calendars, notebooks, sticky notes, and tape, take a look around at your office and you’ll automatically see a good list of products worth promoting.
  • Gifts: Gifts are thoughtful to employees and customers so don’t over-rule this item in your promotion especially if they’re high-end items such as expensive fountain pens or awards.
  • Postage: The mail needs to get out somehow – and that means postage.
  • Cards and Stationary: Letterheads, business cards, invoices, and the like.

The easiest way to get an idea on what to promote is to swing by a few local businesses and take a peek into what they use to operate; then, go to the big box retailers and examine the items they’re pushing – keep note of this and you’ve already completed at least half of the research.

Programs to Get You Started

There is no shortage of providers in the market but let’s stick to the reputable sellers, shall we?

Office Depot

  • 0.5% – 7% commissions
  • 30 day cookie duration
  • Affiliate network: Linkshare
  • Flexible promotional methods

Staples

  • 1% – 5% commissions
  • Same day cookie duration
  • Affiliate network: CJ.com
  • Trusted brand in the industry

Amazon

  • 4% – 8.5% commissions
  • Same day cookie duration
  • Affiliate network: In-House
  • Most trusted online retailer

The largest obstacle when selling to businesses, in these niche industries, is whether they are locked into their current supplies company. However, new businesses are constantly coming to fruition which puts you at the perfect position to capture this explosive market.

The affiliate programs operated by big businesses aren’t very flexible but remember that the items being purchased are required to operate which means there is less trouble in selling – it’s more about getting your message found.

So, are you ready to go after the office and mailing niche?