If you’re thinking of starting a new business, dropshipping is a great option. You can choose your field and sell items that you’re knowledgeable about. Perhaps you’re a fashionista and would like to sell clothing, handbags and accessories.
If you’re an electronics guru, then maybe video games and cell phones would be more up your alley. Whatever your interest, dropshipping provides a fantastic structure for your new business. Storage and shipping of merchandise is handled by your suppliers. You get to simply focus on building the best virtual storefront possible and handling customer service.
If that all sounds good, you’re probably all revved up and ready to get started. There are a few items to get in order, however. Here’s a handy guide of 8 things that you need to have before you start your dropshipping business.
1) Vision and Determination:
Ok, so this first one may sound very rainbows-and-butterflies “you can do it!” silly, but you’ll absolutely need both of these if you’re to succeed in the online retail world. There’s going to be a lot of stiff competition, so vision is necessary to figure out how you will set your company apart from the rest. Sure, you’re selling merchandise from suppliers, but what will your brand be? Why should customers choose you instead of someone else?
Determination is also a must, as success doesn’t typically just fall into your lap overnight. It will take time to find and build a loyal customer base. If you encounter setbacks, you have to be willing to press forward. Otherwise, you’ll lose the money you’ve put into your startup. Which brings us to…
2) Startup Money:
If things go well, you’ll soon be rolling in the dough. You can’t get there without investing some dough, however. You’ll need money to secure and build a professional, attractive website. Advertising is also helpful to get your name and brand out there, especially in the early days before news of your company begins to spread by word of mouth. In order to do any of this properly, you’ll need to hire professionals to help you. This will ensure that you look like a pro and not an amateur who is looking to save money by cutting corners.
You’ll also need enough money to purchase your first batches of merchandise from suppliers. (If you don’t want to purchase a large quantity of one item, see if a supplier will allow you to make a deposit and keep that money on file as a credit.)
After your dropshipping company has been established and is making money, things will likely run more smoothly and require a bit less time, tears and effort. Getting it started, however, will require a lot of your time and attention. From setting up that awesome web presence to figuring out the best ways to market your brand, you’re going to need to focus quite a bit on getting customers’ attention. If you can’t invest enough time to get things up and running, your business is going to languish and you’ll struggle to turn it into a success.
4) An AliExpress Account:
Another must as you get started in the dropshipping world is an AliExpress account. This will help you narrow down the niche you’d like to sell in. It will also connect you to a vast network of the suppliers you’ll need to provide amazing products to your customers.
5) Good-Quality Suppliers:
It may seem that once a customer has placed an order with you, the rest is up to the supplier and that’s that. If the item arrives damaged or a month late, you’ll just simply tell the customer it’s the supplier’s fault, right? Wrong. The customer doesn’t care why the problem happened. They simply want the issue resolved. You can recover from even the worst delivery nightmare if you provide good customer service after the fact. Blaming your supplier looks irresponsible and unprofessional.
You can (mostly) avoid this by only working with reputable suppliers. This will ensure that the merchandise your customers receive is high-quality, well-packed, and on time. To find the best suppliers, you’ll need to do a bit of research. Look for forums in which other people in the dropshipping industry talk about their experiences with various suppliers; this will give you a good idea of what to expect or check out this article ‘How to Solve The Biggest Problems with Dropshipping Suppliers .
6) A Business Bank Account:
When you start a business, it’s an absolute must for you to operate out of a business bank account. This will help keep you organized for accounting purposes, as it will keep your personal and business expenses separate. A business bank account makes your company appear more professional and legitimate when you write checks and pay bills. It’s also helpful for legal and tax purposes.
7) Official Tax ID Number:
*yawn!* Continuing with the more practical, boring aspects of beginning your dropshipping business, you’ll also need an official tax ID number. If you’re going to run a dropshipping business, you’re going to need to purchase from wholesalers. If you’re going to purchase from wholesalers, they will require a tax ID number. It’s as simple as that. Any supplier that doesn’t require a tax ID number isn’t a real wholesaler; purchase from them and you’re not getting the best price.
Finally, you’ll need patience as you work to get your business up and running smoothly. You’ll likely encounter obstacles and things that won’t turn out exactly as you’d planned. The ability to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep on moving is important if you’re going to be an entrepreneur.
Patience isn’t just a virtue when you’re first starting your business, though. As you’ll be dealing with a wide variety of customers and personalities, patience will be an asset even once you’ve started to generate a large number of sales. How are you going to turn a one-time customer into a loyal customer? You’ll do it with good customer service. This means that no matter how unreasonable you feel a customer is being, you have to respond with patience. Even if you can’t give them exactly what they’re requesting, dealing with them in a calm and professional manner is essential. Anything else will damage your reputation and your brand.