Becoming financially independent is a dream for many of us. Take advantage of this time, travel and discover new lands, say “goodbye president” like a lottery winner…
The goals are just as numerous as the means to achieve them. Indeed, there have never been so many opportunities to be able to quit your job than today, thanks to the Internet. If you’ve always wanted to get into e-commerce with minimal investment, while maximizing profits, then dropshipping is for you.
If you have no idea what dropshipping is, I invite you to read my article on the 3 businesses to start when you have little money to invest. For the others, I give you your first cards to win the game. Let’s go.
Table of Contents
- What is dropshipping?
- 8 essential steps to set up your dropshipping project
What is dropshipping?
Before going into details and even if it has already been discussed in another article, a definition of dropshipping can always be interesting. If we refer to Wikipedia, this concept refers to “a third-party system where the customer (the consumer) places an order on the website of the distributor (the reseller), who forwards it to the supplier (the wholesaler) for the -ci ensures the delivery and manages the stocks ”.
While it’s often seen as an “easy” way to make money today, dropshipping is not a magic bullet. There are rules to follow, especially for those who want to build a business over time. Finding a product that is likely to be popular (cheap “Airpods” copies, a vacuum cleaner with blackheads or a box to lower your electrical consumption, for example) and selling it 10 times its “normal” price is perhaps not be the best solution to earn long term money …
In short, to set up a successful dropshipping business, here are the 8 essential steps to set up your project!
8 essential steps to set up your dropshipping project
1. Have an entrepreneurial mindset
If dropshipping interests you, I might as well tell you right away that it is not for everyone. Many young entrepreneurs want to try their luck, attracted by the greed. However, few of them are really successful in this business.
In reality, if some of them are not successful, it is not because of the system, but because of their state of mind. To avoid repeating the same mistakes, you must above all be disciplined and serious in your activity. Dropshipping is a serious business activity that appeals to your motivation, your sales and marketing skills, and above all, your determination.
A word of advice: find your goal, your why; the reason why you take the plunge, and persevere relentlessly. In the end, keep in mind that the one who succeeded just tried more times than the one who failed .
💡 Tip: Write down in a notebook the goals you want to achieve in your life with the money and experience generated by dropshipping. Then read them aloud every day to keep yourself constantly motivated.
2. Take training
Of course, you can throw the knife between your teeth and try to glean some information here and there, on YouTube or various blogs. Although this method is completely free, it will also waste a lot of your time, not to mention the number of mistakes made, often costly. What demotivate more than one.
If you want to get serious results and make dropshipping a real business, you need to educate yourself beforehand. There are a number of trainings and as many more or less serious trainers on the net, so how can we see more clearly? Certain indices such as the trainer’s seniority, his results, those of his community, opinions on Trustpilot, etc. help to see more clearly.
3. Have official status
In order to get off to the right start, it is necessary to declare yourself. No need to open a listed company, a simple microenterprise will do. Its main advantage: its totally free from creation cost. Especially since you are taxed only on the turnover you generate and you do not pay VAT up to € 85,200. Enough to launch your activity, with a financially serene mind.
💡 Tip: get in touch with the CCI of your department, they will be able to guide you and help you set up your structure.
4. Find the right product idea
You are motivated, you have been trained, you have created your microenterprise, now where to start? To generate your first sales, you are going to need to find a winning product (a product that will generate a lot of sales and revenue) to market. We can distinguish 3 main categories of products:
- “Useful” products: by that I mean products that meet a need, that solve a problem. The bigger and deeper the problem, the more successful your product will be with your target audience.
Example: selling elevator insoles to people suffering from their short stature.
- “Fan base ” products: these are those that reach a target in particular, which is ready to spend its money to maintain a passion.
Example: a golf kit for all lovers of this sport, products for motorcycle fans, etc.
- “Fashionable” products: these are products that run out of steam very quickly over time, because they are out of fashion or out of date. But if you are able to find these kinds of products and place yourself at the right time, you can make some really big sales in a very short period of time.
Example: those who sold medical masks during the first containment, when we were out of stock, products for Halloween, Valentine’s Day, etc.
No need to reinvent the wheel. Before you jump headlong into any product, think about what type of product you want to launch. Your everyday life is strewn with them. Think about the problems you are having and what products would you like to own to solve them? Which target customers would you like to reach? What time of year will you be launching your products?
Another important point: competition. If there are competitors for a product, then there is a market and it works. On the other hand, too much competition kills competition. It’s up to you to find the right balance.
💡 Tip: look at the “best sellers” sections of sales sites like Amazon, Cdiscount, duty-free sales sites, etc. You will often discover ideas to exploit, enough to give you your first inspirations for winning products.
5. Find the best supplier
Have you found the winning product to launch? Well done ! Now it’s time to start looking for the supplier who will be able to produce it and send it to your end customer.
Many sites exist, whether in Europe or elsewhere in the world. The most famous and easiest platform to use is still Aliexpress. But it is not the only one and by searching on Google you will easily find wholesalers, manufacturers, factories distributing your product. Get in touch with them and offer them a partnership. Some will be more than happy to sell their stocks for free, without cutting back on their margins, thanks to you.
💡 Tip: Even if you haven’t sold anything yet, don’t hesitate to contact each supplier individually and negotiate quantity discounts.
6. Create your website
It’s time to create your e-store. Have you never built a website? Is coding completely new to you? Don’t panic, the solution exists and it is called: Shopify. This Canadian company provides you with all the necessary tools to create your e-commerce store.
Many brands, even well-known ones, use its services because of its simplicity and efficiency in connecting your store to the rest of the world. There is no coding or ultra-complicated computer language here. Easily create your store according to your desires and the image of your product.
Again, no need to reinvent the wheel: take inspiration from your competition and do the same, only better. You can very well make yourself (or hire a service provider on 5euros.com for example) your own photos and / or videos of the product, for example by ordering a sample that you will have tested beforehand (which I strongly recommend) . Your goal is to have a professional site, which makes you want to buy and gives confidence. Last tip: don’t leave spelling mistakes lying around.
💡 Tip: plugins like Dsers or Oberlo allow you to link your website directly to your supplier, you don’t have to worry about a possible out of stock or forgetting to send orders.
Having a beautiful site is good, but having visitors who buy is better. For this, you will have to promote your site and your product to your target prospects. Today we have some amazing tools that every marketer in the past dreamed of owning.
Getting your product right in front of your target customers in any city in the world with minimal investment was almost unthinkable even 15 years ago. However, thanks to Google and social networks, everything has become possible, even from your smartphone. Facebook and all the other players have a lot of data about each of us and make it available to you to “promote” your products. Now you can show your product to women aged 25-35 who live in Barcelona and love dogs, coffee and travel in Switzerland. I know, it has nothing to do with it, but this is the power of social targeting, you hit whoever you want.
Another possibility: product placement via influencers. For a fee, influencers who match the target you want to reach, will be happy to promote your products on YouTube, Instagram or even TikTok. You can’t imagine the power these people have with their audience. You can very well consider a partnership between the influencer and your products with a promotional code for example. It’s a way to reach a lot of prospects in a short time.
💡 Tip: plan an advertising budget beforehand, create your ads, target your prospects and adjust your advertising budget according to the sales you make.
8. Manage sales
You have your first visitors, then your first customers, congratulations! It’s finally time to order your products directly from your supplier and then tell them your customer’s shipping address.
The supplier will take care of sending the products for you directly to the end customer. Keep in mind that you will need to advance the price of the orders because, even if the customer has already paid, the funds will not be released to you immediately. So remember to keep some cash or start with relatively inexpensive products.
💡 Tip: the difference is in customer service. Even if you sell the same products as your competition, the service you add will make all the difference. Never forget that GOOD customers are king.
I wish you happy sales and a happy dropshipping.