Most people are looking for ways to increase their cash flow while spending as little time as possible working a second job. The number of people engaging in the side hustle is at an all-time high, and enterprising entrepreneurs are doing everything to generate that second income: picking up trash, walking dogs, tutoring, delivering goods, renting out their car, making healthy cat treats, and, of course, embarking on an ecommerce business!
If you have been thinking about breaking into the ecommerce market, but don’t want to invest too much money into the process, dropshipping may be one way for you to dabble without investing too much startup money or time.
What is dropshipping? Dropshipping is a fulfillment method in which an ecommerce business does not keep products in stock. If your online store wants to sell a product, it purchases the item from a third party and has it shipped directly to the customer. As a result, there is little to no startup cost or effort, except for developing your ecommerce business website, choosing from the many dropshipping suppliers who will shoulder the burdens of warehousing the product, shipping it, and supervising the employees required to pick and pack your orders. It will allow you to avail yourself of thousands of products you can sell to potential customers.
Why would I want to engage in dropshipping? The most obvious answer is that it doesn’t require you to develop, make, or house the products you sell. You do not have to purchase the raw materials required to create your product, and not buying or managing inventory means your initial startup fees and overhead expenses are quite low.
You can run your business from home, using a computer and internet, allowing you the freedom to work around your family, home, and primary employment obligations. You will not be tied to one location, allowing you the flexibility and freedom to make money wherever and whenever you want. Scalability for many businesses is a problem, but for dropshippers, you don’t have to worry about an increase in sales because you do not need to increase production. You can grow your business quickly and efficiently, with no concerns about product development or the logistics of shipping.
Does dropshipping work? Running a successful business requires time, effort, and energy. Even if you are not making the product, there will still be things you must do to bring your dream to fruition. The same is true for ecommerce businesses, including starting up your dropshipping company.
You will need to invest time in developing and maintaining a business website. For those with little internet or ecommerce experience, this may be more difficult than those who are more technologically savvy. You will need to learn about the many useful apps that can be added and set up payment platforms. Your dropshipping company will need well organized visual images and a plethora of products that consumers want, as well as suppliers who can provide them. You will want to be responsive to your consumers and develop good customer service practices. All of this means work for you, but if you’re willing to invest the time and effort, it can be a highly successful business proposition.
What are some success stories? Every business and entrepreneur is unique, but it is possible to generate a $1000-$2000 monthly income stream within 12 months, working approximately 10 to 15 hours per week in building your business. The more time you can devote to your business, the more quickly sales can increase and the more likely you are to be successful in building and maintaining your customer base.
Yan. Yan, a medical student from France, engaged in a lot of online side hustles to help pay for his medical school expenses. He blogged, wrote articles, and created an online anatomy course to accompany his blog, but was still generating less than $100 a month. In 2017, he switched to dropshipping and invested two weeks into setting up his store. The first month, he made $442.55 total using only Instagram shoutouts, but in his second month, he made over $800 in the first two weeks and hopes to reach at least $1000 by the end of his second month.
Kate. Kate worked for an ecommerce department creating and testing promotion strategies for dropshipping companies but had never actually engaged in dropshipping herself. Her Japanese cartoon (anime) store uses a wider range of social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, and generated over $32,000 in one month (October 2017).
Zappos. And if you’re looking for a jaw-dropping success story, you might want to read about Zappos, a former dropshipping company that now dominates the US shoe market and proves that there is no limit to what can happen with both vision and dedication!
If you’re looking to capitalize on the dropshipping niche business available, there’s nothing to keep you from getting started. What ideas do you have for starting a dropshipping business?