Starting a small business is a risk, but it’s a great way to earn a sustainable income in the long run. With the rising popularity of e-commerce and on-demand logistics services, it’s much more accessible, too. Plus, with the COVID-19 pandemic causing a lot of employees to lose their jobs, opening a business is a common path that people take to get the money they need to survive.
A popular business that people may consider investing in is dropshipping. It involves putting up an online storefront that sells a variety of products — from clothes to electronics. Unlike traditional online stores, however, a dropshipping business doesn’t keep items in stock. They get it from a third-party manufacturer and wholesaler and have it shipped directly to the customer.
Benefits of Dropshipping
There are a variety of benefits to being a dropshipping business owner. The most significant one is that you don’t have to worry about paying for storage or keeping a tight inventory, as you don’t handle products directly. As such, there’s less capital required to start and less money needed to maintain, unlike the usual online stores. You’re also free to work with a variety of dropshipping suppliers, so you have a vast selection of products to sell.
The benefits of dropshipping are just too good to pass up. Just like any other business investment, however, it isn’t as easy as it looks. You still need the fundamental components of an online enterprise to get it off the ground.
Here’s what you need to do to start a dropshipping business.
Part-Time or Full Time?
While it is more accessible than a traditional online store business, it still needs your full attention and dedication. You have to work with suppliers and wholesalers to get the best prices on your store while also making a profit. Since you’re running the storefront, you need to be present for any customer service inquiries or concerns. If you want your business to grow exponentially and quickly, you need to dedicate yourself to it full-time. ;
If you’re going to run your dropshipping business part-time, consider working with just one supplier and sell only a few items. Set expectations with customers when it comes to customer service and fulfillment, too.
Choose a Specialty
Every successful online business has a specialty, with the exception of giants like Amazon and AliExpress. Determine your interests, strengths, and experiences. If you’re into fashion or worked in clothing retailers before, your skills and knowledge may translate to finding suppliers that provide on-trend and high-quality products for your store.
Having a specialized business also means that you can focus on one market. Once you learn what products they love and which marketing strategies they respond to, you’ll have no problems finding the suppliers that fulfill their needs.
Find the Perfect Supplier
Not all dropshipping suppliers are made equal. Some provide expensive but high-quality products. Others create bargain price items with passable quality. When finding a wholesaler or manufacturer, sift through online reviews to see what their clients think of them. ;
Contact the companies themselves and ask for references to call. If you can find a supplier that can bridge the gap between affordability and quality, don’t hesitate to work with them. If you can’t, then you’ll have to determine whether your storefront will provide premium or budget products, or even a mix of both. ;
Create an E-commerce Site
Once you find the right supplier and get your business permit (if your government requires it), it’s time to build your online storefront. If you have the website building knowledge and experience, create one from scratch. Otherwise, e-commerce platforms, like Shopify, Squarespace and Wix should let you create a basic e-commerce site easily. They offer easy-to-follow instructions in setting up your payment and shipping methods. Plus, adding, editing and removing products using these platforms is a breeze. ;
E-commerce has allowed people to become entrepreneurs from the comfort of their own home. There’s no better example of this than dropshipping. It requires little capital and it doesn’t even need storage space. However, it has requirements that every business demands. Use this as a checklist in building and growing your successful dropshipping enterprise. ;