Lately, I have been doing some research towards getting a new smartphone. In the process, I ended up realizing some interesting insights I had never considered before. People tend to ask about the performance of a particular smartphone model from literally anyone. It is possible to get an honest and objective assessment through that but at times you can get inaccurate information. In my research, I ended up stumbling across some remarkable YouTube channels that do gadget reviews. I wondered why I had never considered looking for such channels before. Anyways, I did also notice that starting such a YouTube channel can be a great money-making opportunity.
It might seem like a fun past time but some people have commercialized gadget reviews through YouTube channels. The basic approach is to choose a particular niche of gadgets to review. Some of the common approaches I have noticed are smartphones, PCs, or miscellaneous electronic gadgets. This means you can find someone specializing in either of those or doing all of them. Personally, I think one can start with just smartphones and then add on more layers over time.
The whole endeavour will then entail you unboxing and reviewing say smartphones. This would broadly involve looking at the spec sheet, testing some of the features, making comparisons, and reviewing the price, amongst other things. The thrust would be to provide people with detailed reviews on gadgets that can help inform their purchase decisions. That is the most basic approach but there is more.
As the business venture grows there are ways to diversify revenue streams. Some of the ways are selling branded items, partnering with gadget manufacturers for sponsored videos, and even coming up with your own product line. There are numerous possibilities!
I cannot underscore enough the need to come up with top-notch videos. This means you will have to invest in having video capturing equipment and an alluring set. At the most basic level, you start with just a good quality smartphone and probably just a well-lit set, maybe at home. Then as you grow you will have to acquire much more high-end equipment and a better set design. You will also need to have good internet access. This not only for just uploading but is because you will have to do thorough online research for every video. You will also need a wide range of editing software for coming up with great videos. These are some of the basic requirements but others will become apparent once you start operating.
It is realistic to start solo whilst literally doing everything yourself. Especially with good equipment, you can efficiently run the whole venture solo for quite a stretch. However, if you manage to successfully scale the business there shall come a time when you will need maybe 2 or so to constitute your team. At best you can always outsource most of your process flow activities. It somehow goes without saying that you will need tech-savvy individuals to work with.
You can start with almost zero dollars, especially if you already have the necessary equipment. You would need some money to purchase the gadgets you would want to review. This might be inevitable at the beginning but as you grow you will definitely have to strike strategic partnerships where you do not have to purchase what you want to review. The initial capital needs are so contextual that they will be informed by what you already have or where you are starting from.
I have to lay out some guidelines here because this line of business is somewhat atypical in Zimbabwe. Market research will be of immense importance before you start this business. In the most general of terms, the market is there and it is vast – people are now spoilt for choice due to too many gadgets or gadget brands (and models) on the market. This has created a sustained need for professional advice on what to and what not to buy. However, you have to be smart, particularly regarding your niching choice. Let us suppose you broadly settle for smartphone reviews – one of the most popular anyways. You would have to consider what your target market should be. Piece of advice – I suggest that you at a macro level consider the African market. Do reviews with mainly the African continent in mind. The reason I say that is because globally there are some well-established and highly tech-endowed YouTube channels already doing this. Thus competing with them might not be a smart move.
Interestingly, such channels, by nature, tend to not review most of the common smartphone brands in Africa. Thus you will have to capitalize on that gap. An example – some of the most popular smartphone brands in Africa are Itel and Techno, amongst others. Some like Gtel and Astro Mobile are even native to Zimbabwe. Anyways, popular brands in Africa will also appeal to most of the Asian market so that is a plus. If you are born and raised in Zimbabwe you will also have the advantage of speaking fluent English in a neutral yet globally appreciable accent. This is also a strategic market advantage since some of the reviewers are from India. All these dynamics point to the importance of conducting some research so that you package your business nicely.
Revenue will primarily come from YouTube, sponsored videos and so on. If you do proper branding for your business you can add on branded merchandise such as t-shirts, caps, and the like. Over time I would urge you to explore entering strategic partnerships with the manufacturing companies. This will go a long way in enhancing your revenue generation. This is an interesting business to start in Zimbabwe and the bonus is that you get to reach the whole world from here. I know of two global YouTube gadget review businesses which now realize millions in profits annually. I believe there is huge potential for us to do so too.