How To Start Dropshipping (Real Actionable Steps)
It’s easy to come across dropshipping online. It’s the latest online business trend, and you’ve probably seen one of those “gurus” offering to teach you how to change your life and make weekly millions from your couch.
Now, there’s enough garbage surrounding the dropshipping business model, yet you need to look past the fraudsters.
Back then, it was hard to start a dropshipping venture. There was zero information on it. Getting traffic was painful, and no one really knew what a dropshipper was.
However, we’re in a different time. 2020 has enjoyed the most profitable evolution: sales funnels, courses, adsets, and countless tools.
Today, I won’t tell you how to set up your store, for there’s enough on that on YouTube and countless courses. I’m going to tell you the 7 fundamental steps for starting your dropshipping business.
These steps are the basis of a good dropshipping venture. You can use them for any niche, size, and approach, and they’ll work the same way.
Dropshipping: the start
The first step is to get as much information as you can regarding online entrepreneurship and eCommerce in general. You can find a lot of content for free on YouTube and forums, but then we have the courses.
I’ve seen countless dropshipping courses; it seems like someone releases a new programme every 2 weeks. Most charge you over $1,000 for the final solution to all your money issues, but the best value tends to come from the modest ones.
eCom Elites is a great example. Franklin Hatchett filled it with around 180 videos about this business model, explaining both ClickFunnels and Shopify. You can check out my review on eCom Elites here.
You’ll have to think about your time and the possibility of finding all the necessary knowledge for free. In most cases, paying the $297 fee is more efficient. You get instant access to more than 20 hours of training.
Once you finished, you’re left with a private Facebook group where you can interact with your fellow entrepreneurs and expand your knowledge.
Building your store: keep it general
It’s an easy mistake to jump straight into the first niche you find. That’s quite a significant mistake since there’s no reason for anyone to buy from you instead of the huge stores (like Amazon) that already control the market.
You can even see your entire marketing budget wasted.
The best approach to dropshipping is to go with a general store. Think about Walmart; that’s a general store. They focus on covering every niche available in the market, and if no one buys certain products, they just get rid of it and add something else in its place.
That’s the mindset you want to follow.
Going with a general store lets you constantly test the products you can offer, and your visitors won’t be puzzled by all the changes happening every day. They won’t leave an electronics store one night and find clothes listed in the next day,
Find a problem-solving product
The best products you can sell are those that can help people solve whatever issues they face or the ones that can make their lives more comfortable. Don’t fall for the idea that social media engagement always translates into more sales; don’t listen to gurus who preach that constantly.
Think about the products in your home right now: they all serve a purpose. Smartphones keep you communicated. Your computer lets you work and have fun. Your TV keeps you updated and helps remove stress. Everything in your kitchen helps you stay healthy. Your coat keeps the cold at bay.
It goes on endlessly, and niche products can work here too: an egg white separator, a holder for your tooth brush and paste, and similar items may be curious, yet they still make your life easier.
Products that don’t do that are prone to be bought by impulse, and that’s unreliable.
Get your supplier
Once you know what you’re going to sell, you need to get it on your store. Don’t try to adapt to your supplier; find one that sells what you want.
Choosing a supplier before knowing what you want to sell is a common mistake. It often ends with you choosing one of the most popular options and sell the same things everyone else does.
There are many tools that help you find the supplier for the products you’re looking for. You can get into Thieve.co, look for the product you want, and use the link function to go straight to the AliExpress supplier.
It’s good if you find a local supplier, but then shipping may become an issue if you want to sell overseas (you do). AliExpress is located in China, and shipping is extremely cheap from there.
Don’t be afraid of China, by the way. I’ve used AliExpress for my stores for a long time, and it has worked perfectly. Just be transparent about your shipping times.
Salehoo and similar website try to offer directories to suppliers, but they’re often outdated. Most of their money comes from old information.
Test your product
Advertise your product with videos and images on your social media platforms. The standard trifecta is Instagram, Facebook, and Google Ads.
Video ads tend to be more efficient; you can show viewers your product directly. If you don’t know how to make a video ad, then you don’t have to worry. There are many platforms that let you simply take a bunch of photos, add text, and have a professional-looking video to post.
You can even buy your product and record a video with your smartphone. Complete that with some captions to overcome people not using sound with their social media, and you’re ready.
If you choose eCom Elites, you’ll get around 50 videos on social media marketing. If FB and IG isn’t doing it for you, then you’ll know how to use Google Ads as well. Make sure to set apart a budget for product testing.
Repeat the steps (if it didn’t work)
You’ll likely not find success with the first product you find. If you expect to do it, then you’re in for disappointment; it requires patience and effort.
It’s similar to picking up a new hobby. You need to try and miss several times while you familiarise yourself with what works and what doesn’t. You’ll inevitably understand how it works and start improving.
You’ll probably lose some money at first, but it won’t solve by giving up. You just need to find a different product or reconsider your target audience and give it a second shot. Many of the most successful entrepreneurs in any business model lost thousands before they hit jackpot.
Also, remembers that losses help you curve some of your taxes at the end of the day, so they’ll help you increase your profits once they start coming in. Trump lost almost a billion and he’s lived 18 years without paying tax.
Grow your business
Once you’re up, the only way to go should be higher. You need to act quickly after you find your winning product and make the most out of it. Dropshipping is hectic, and someone will likely copy your offer and double your ads spending.
eCom Elites also explains how to scale your store. You must max out how much you’re spending on ads every day, and this may call for some credit card action. If you’re not from the US, then your cashflow may suffer from waiting for money transfers.
However, if you’re good at cashflow management, then move on to grow your winning ads. Once that’s on its way, focus on your delivery times, and dropshipping will be another one of your conquered goals.
However, if you don’t take the risk, then your business will (most likely) stagnate and fall apart. You’re the one who can choose whether you want to grab your first profits and forget about it or grow your business into your main income source.
Now, you have all the knowledge you need to start coming up with your dropshipping business idea. The next step is to figure out exactly what you want, and you can start doing that by following these steps as well.
Run some Google searches. Find what you want to do. Save money for your course, and get ready to start your dropshipping venture. You can find out what the best dropshipping courses are here!
You’ll probably find yourself spending less than you thought you needed, but make sure you’re not afraid to take risks. Changing your life is a big one already!