Dropshipping is a very profitable business and especially at these trying times, it is a great way to take baby steps in the world of business before you take the leap of faith. There are a number of entrepreneurs around the world taking up dropshipping of different goods in present times.
Having great returns a very low-risk dropping is a popular way of business if you are looking for one. So if you are planning to start a venture of your own and be your own boss with minimum investment at the start, dropshipping business is the one that you should be looking at.
What is Dropshipping?
Before deciding on anything you need to first understand what dropshipping actually is. Dropshipping is the term given a kind of supply chain management where the dropshipper specially curate a catalog from which the customers can place their orders. These dropshippers take the order and sends the details and the payment to the retailer, wholesaler, or directly the manufacturer, who then takes up the order and delivers it to the customer’s address.
In the process, the dropshipper has a particular take-rate but there is hardly much investment involved. The customer gets the products delivered in a very short time period and the manufacturer or wholesaler can skip the long chain of stakeholders in the process of selling goods. All in all, everyone is benefitted from the process.
Why Dropshipping Business?
You might wonder as to why you would choose dropshipping business out of all the businesses available today. We will now discuss some of the benefits of the dropshipping business so that it becomes easier for you to take a call. The benefits of dropshipping business are as follows:
- No inventory: You do not need to keep inventory. The responsibility of the inventory. You do not have to pay for a huge space to keep the manufactured goods for selling. It will save you a lot of money and definitely a lot of trouble too.
- Low set up cost: As there would be hardly any charge associated with raw materials, finished goods, inventory, or even delivery a huge chunk of investment gets ruled out. Practically, there is a very low investment required.
- Less Investment: Overall Investment for dropshipping business is very low. As a result of which a number of people are drawn to this kind of business at present.
- Low manual labor: As a number of tasks in the supply chain get handled by other stakeholders, for the dropshipper the manual labor is reduced to a considerable extent.
- Less time consuming: Dropshipping business is very less time-consuming. You need not spend long hours behind the computer to get customers or sell your products. Some good marketing strategy is enough to do the deal for you.
- Good Returns: Dropshipping business is very profitable when it comes to money as well because you hardly need to invest anything and you can get high returns in a low turn-around time on your investment.
- Low Risk: Low risks in terms of business. As you are only taking part in facilitating the business processes for other wholesalers, manufacturers, and retails, you run a low risk. There is mostly quite a lot to gain in the dropshipping business for a dropshipper.
How to start a dropshipping business?
Similar to all other businesses, dropshipping business also takes a lot of patience and hard work. Starting any kind of business without proper research would not be a good idea. There is a number of steps to follow to be able to run a successful business and moreover make a mark with the business in today’s world.
We will guide to through the steps of starting and running a successful dropshipping business today.
To be very precise, there are 7 steps that can be followed to start a drop shipping business from scratch.
#1. Selecting A Niche
There are a number of Niche and sub-Niche where the drop shipping business could work wonder. Stop and Think! Which one of the numerous Niches for drop shipping would you connect to a maximum level?
See what is profitable and then put in your efforts towards that business. You are surely planning to dive into a business considering that it would fetch hefty profit for you in the days to come, so take some time to evaluate a number of Niches and then select the niche you would want to move ahead with for your drop shipping business.
Some of the easiest ways to select a drop shipping Niche are:
- See what is trending: Figure out what people are talking about and what is the hot topic in social media. You can go with the trend and people would be interested in your products.
- Explore your passion: Think about what you are passionate about, see if you can match it up to any kind particular niche. For example, if you are a music buff, check out the different speakers and headphones available.
- Solve your own problem: Try to understand your own problem statement. If you can understand and solve your own problem statement you are likely to be able to solve that for others too and select a niche that would serve the purpose.
- Check the profitability: You are starting the business for profits; ensure that the niche you select has high margins and returns.
#2. Test the Waters Before Getting into it
Once you have selected a proper niche to start your drop shipping business you need to test the waters. That is, it is better to know your competition before you dive into the game. Do proper research on Google, in the various social media sites and see who all the competitors are, especially the seller of the same niche.
This process can be initiated by a quick search on the web. You need to assess their business model and try to understand what works best for them. If there is some flaw in the business model try to understand what could have caused it and take care that you do not repeat the same mistakes. Competitor analysis is a major step in starting a drop shipping business and must be performed with great caution and care.
#3. Look for a Good Supplier
For being able to deliver the goods of the particular niche that you select, you need to have a supplier who delivers that particular kind of item. For this, you must ensure that the supplier you choose is good and reliable. How would you decide if a supplier is ‘good’? Well, you need to incorporate the trial and error method.
- Search the platform for suppliers: For finding a supplier you can simply search the product you wish to sell on any of the dropshipping platforms such as Amazon or Oberlo. Go to the dropshipping platform and search for the product you wish to sell. There would be a list of a number of sellers available to select a few sellers out of that lot on the basis of their reviews and ratings. You can also check the wholesale directory for the list of suppliers.
- Enquire with the suppliers: once you have shortlisted a few suppliers talk to them! See what each one of them has to offer. Check out their shipping times and minimum order quantities. On the basis of this shortlist of a couple of suppliers from the list.
- Verify what they are claiming: Now that you have shortlisted the suppliers, you have to check their services to verify them. For this, you need to place an order with them, see their delivery speed, price, product quality, packaging, customer support, etc. from a customer’s point of view.
Once the supplier meets all criteria, partner up with them.
#4. Get a Sale Tax ID
In the United States to set up any business you need to have a sales tax ID. Now that you are setting up a business, it is likely that you would require the tax ID. You could register for a Sales Tax ID online or visit the county clerk for the same.
There are places such as Montana, Delaware, and a couple of others who do not require sales tax ID, however, it is better that you have one ready just in case.
For having a sales tax ID you need to be a business entity or a sole proprietor. Acquiring a sales tax ID is quick and cheap.
#5. Set up your Dropshipping Store
All that done now is the time for you to set up your online store. The steps for the same are as follows:
- Register a domain name: For building a long term brand you need to have a relevant domain name. The domain name should be related to the product or the niche that you are planning to cater to.
- Use Shopify: You can register with Shopify and use its features to build your platform and beautify it with the different themes available with them. You can start with the simplest of the themes for better customer experience and move on to higher themes as and when your business is up and running.
- Use Oberlo: Oberlo will allow you to get the list of products you wish to sell. Pick up 15-20 products of the niche you are planning to work on and build a catalog for yourself. Write quirky product descriptions that will be appealing to your customers and wait for them to respond.
#6. Marketing your Products for the Dropshipping Business:
All the above steps are done right, everything can be a total waste if your marketing for the products is not done in the right way. You need to put in your best foot forward for the marketing of your products. Go all in! Some of the useful and productive marketing ideas can be as follows:
- Facebook advertisements
- Influencer Marketing
- Google Advertisements
- Social Media Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
There could be a few other methods of marketing as well. You need to understand the purpose of each kind of marketing. Some of these marketing strategies give quick results while others are comparatively slower, some are paid while others are free of cost.
Understand the purpose and decide how to go about the process, how much to invest in the strategy, and the like.
#7. Start Selling and Optimise
Now that you have set up your online dropshipping store, do the branding and the marketing, it is time to get real. Start selling your products and earn. This is the time when you need to analyze the effort that you have put in and compared it with the results you are reaping.
Check out each aspect of your dropshipping business and how you are running it. See what you can do better and how you can scale up your sales and meet more customer requirements. If you keep analyzing and improving yourself each it, you will always tend to stay ahead of your competitors and cater to more and more customers.
Disadvantages of Dropshipping Business
Like every other business dropshipping has a few cons too. Some of the disadvantages of dropshipping business are as follows:
- You do not have complete control over the business at a given point. It is dependent on a number of other stakeholders.
- There might be sudden stock shortages if the demand goes high.
- The cost of goods sold might get high.
- There might be customer service issues to take care of.
Nonetheless, there are pros and cons to every business. All in all, Dropshipping is a very profitable business with low risks and high gains. You need to put in some initial setup efforts and you are good to go. Select a niche you can connect to and see your sales skyrocketing.
Earn a hefty amount each month and analyze your dropshipping business each day to make improvements.