Studies have shown that 50 percent of new businesses fail after just two years of operation. Of those still standing, 50 percent more fail within another two years. DON'T YOU GET SICK OF HEARING THIS? I DO.
Did I say, "Drop-Kick?" I meant "Drop-Ship."
Either action can do something for your business.
One of the biggest reasons so many startups fail is lack of funding. You need proper capital to be able to build out your products and services, market them properly, and build effective funnels and strategies. Not to mention that launching a startup is a timely venture, and unless you have plenty living costs saved up, you’ll be forced to continue working a full-time job, leaving your entrepreneurial dreams to fall apart.
One way to raise your own money for your dream company is to start a drop-shipping business. A drop-shipping model is when a customer orders a product on your site, and you act as the middleman, sending them the product from the supplier.
To be clear, you’ll still need to invest some amount of money. After all, no business has zero set-up costs. However, the overhead costs will be much lower than starting your own business straight out the gate. Sure, margins will be smaller because the products aren’t wholesale or manufactured by you, but there are plenty of other benefits.
You can start a full drop-shipping business with as little as a $500 investment -- even less if you plan to be very frugal. For a $1,000 investment, you can really take your drop-shipping business to the next level. In addition to low startup costs, it will also teach you plenty about running a business.
You’ll have to deal with marketing, handling customers, and working with suppliers. These are all great learning lessons for the future. Here’s what you can do to start a successful business to help fund your startup:
Use The Right Platform
Hands down, Wordpress and Shopify are the most intuitive and easy platforms to launch your drop-shipping business. There are hundreds of online guides that teach you how to learn Wordpress, and just as much educational material for Shopify.
But the great thing about WooCommerce (Wordpress’ ecommerce platform) and Shopify is that they offer plugins and applications that make the process of choosing products and importing them easier than ever.
Oberlo for Shopify is one of the best products on the market; it allows you to seamlessly add products from drop-shippers like Aliexpress directly into your own marketplace. You can then edit descriptions, change price, rearrange photos, and so much more.
Wordpress has its own set of drop-shipping plugins that take your efforts to the next level. For example, Beeketing shows your customers automatic upsell and cross-sell opportunities, while the Refer A Friend plugin rewards customers who refer others.
Relate It To Your Startup Dream
If possible, your drop-shipping business should be related to your startup business. For example, if you’re launching an itinerary planner/travel app, then you might want to stick to drop-shipping products in the travel niche.
This might include different types of maps or travel-inspired home decor. This will make it easier to marry your two ventures if you choose to later down the line. It will also help you start working on related content. For example, you might want to start creating blogs that are applicable to both businesses.
Invest In Your Products
Before you start drop-shipping products, collect a healthy sample of the products you plan to sell on your website. This serves multiple purposes. For starters, you’ll be able to gauge the quality of the products before you begin ordering them for others, which can prevent bad reviews later down the line.
It also allows you to photograph your products in a more marketable way. Some products on supplier sites aren’t the best, and might even look like stock photos. With your own products, you can stage your photographs as you see fit.
Selling a scratch off map? You can place it on a wall with decoration that embody the brand, and even throw in other products as accent pieces in the same photo. This type of tactic allows consumers to shop the entire look. You’ll also be able to use the same product over and over again, for your website, social media, and various other marketing materials.
Include Your Own Marketing Materials
Once you’ve ordered your products, you can see how they’re packaged. Some--but not all--suppliers will allow you to include your own marketing and packaging. This is something you’ll need to work out with them beforehand. Marketing materials might include an invoice with your logo, coupons, or other promotional cards.
If you have the budget in the beginning, you could ship your products to yourself as they’re ordered and package how you see fit. Keep in mind this will take longer for the end consumer to actually receive the package, and you should factor this extra shipping cost into your pricing.
However, once you increase your sales volume, suppliers will be more likely to work with you as far as incorporating your marketing.