Niccolo Machiavelli was an author of the Italian Renaissance who lived between the 14th and 15th centuries. He is best known for his controversial book on philosophy and political science, aptly entitled,“The Prince”. Although many business cohorts cite Sun Tzu’s, “The Art of War.” As the book to have for all things business in a modern context, Machiavelli’s, “The Prince,” is just as pertinent to anyone in the business world, if not more so than it is to anyone in politics today. And in the highly competitive and overly saturated world of dropshipping, you’re sure to find a strategy or two to help you conquer your niche in the industry, but before you go on to familiarize yourself with one of the most relevant books for any serious entrepreneur alive in this century. Heres 5 quotes from the master himself to get you on your way to absolute dominance over your competition in the dropshipping industry:
1. “The one who adapts his policy to the times prospers, and likewise that the one whose policy clashes with the demands of the times does not.”
This is one quote that should resonate strongly with anyone in the industry, as one of the keys to staying on top of your game as far as product sales, and traffic generation is concerned is staying relevant to the niche that you serve, and evolving with the latest trends. The internet is an ever-changing constant, and any store that operates on it is no different.
Which is why you need to constantly have your eyes on the prize if you want to be profitable, learn to be flexible whenever you hit a snag along the way. Update your product inventory with the hottest selling items in your niche. Stay ahead of the competition by learning from the competition by following their social media pages, and being privy to their retargeting campaigns. The only constant in this industry is change, and you should learn to change your store to suit the latest market trends should you hope to remain relevant, attract and keep an audience, and turn a decent profit while you’re at it.
2. “To understand the nature of the people one must be a prince, and to understand the nature of the prince, one must be of the people.”
To count yourself amongst the royal elite in the dropshipping industry, it helps to understand the people who make that industry what it is, the consumers. Understanding consumer dynamics, buying patterns, which niches are profitable in 2020, and which ones are over-saturated is a guaranteed winner by anyone’s books. This all ties into customer service, and since your servicing a niche market rather than offering customers dropshipping services through a general store, good customer service is the route to repeat customers, which is the route to being profitable.
The best way of doing this is by going through your site as a customer would, and access your store’s strong points, and build on them through marketing and ad campaigns. And identifying your site’s weak points, and improving on them too for better customer experience. Some aspects of your store that you should focus on when doing research as a customer is:
- Browsing experience. Were your pages fast to load? Did anything on your store lag? Are the pages aesthetically pleasing, does your page design feel cluttered?
- How fast are your response times?
- Is the purchasing experience smooth and seamless?
- How well do your refund, shipping, and exchange policies stack up?
- Test ship your products in inventory and see whether your supplier is conducive to the promises made by your store.
By briefly putting yourself in your customer’s shoes you can test your site for marketability long before any flaws are picked up by your customers. Sparing you a bad image, and further building on a solid brand image for you and your store.
3. “Benefits should be conferred gradually, and in that way, they will taste better.”
Dropshipping is a digital eCommerce solution that doesn’t require absorbent amounts of money as an investment to kick it off, and it can prove to be a very lucrative alternative to many conventional businesses to be found on the internet. But as the quote implies, dropshipping is a patient man’s game, and it takes a while before you start to become profitable and realize tangible returns on your investment. But as the master Machiavelli so eloquently put it- Should you wait for a return on investment gradually, the eventual payoff will be so sweet you could almost taste it, both in a metaphorical and literal sense depending on how you chose to spend those profits.
Yet this shouldn’t serve as an excuse for you to be idle in your duties as a dropshipper, and expect your store’s success to simply automate itself. During this phase of gradual growth towards a very sweet payoff, you need to focus on growing your traffic, and awareness around your store which should serve to increase your sales in the long run. Invest money into running daily Facebook and Google ad campaigns. Get your retargeting campaigns into high gear, and ready for those customers who wander off before patronizing your wares. Use Product Mafia to offer your clients the best products on the market. And most important of all be consistent and patient in your approach, and you’ll soon be privy to overall profit margins even Machiavelli would smile upon.
4. “Tardiness often robs us opportunity, and the dispatch of our forces.”
Tardiness is a common vice that has seen so many dropshipping stores fall from grace, and even more so never achieve a level of profitability, to begin with. The forces who are dispatched in this instance are your potential customers in the form of traffic, and damage to your store’s reputation which will also cost you potential customers, and earn you a possible blacklisting from search engines like Google. Tardiness as far as dropshipping is concerned can be expressed in a number of ways, all of which are equally detrimental to your business. These include amongst other things:
- Exopatent shipping costs
- Overpriced goods
- Bad customer support, or a lack thereof
- Refunds take a long time to payout
- The quality of your products are low
- Sellers are unprofessional
An unspoken fiat amongst dropshipping companies is that customer service should always be satisfied. Yet so many stores readily forget this in their pursuit of profits, and put the customer at the back of their mind, and profits in the forefront. This is evidenced by the number of dropshipping stores that use Shopify for the sole purpose of selling products, rather than maintaining a high standard around their store. Often compensating for the lack of customer service through sales generated off social media ad campaigns.
This results in once-off sales, a bad business model if you have a long term vision for your store in mind. Yet the remedy to tardiness is a simple age-old one, put the customer first and resist the temptation of tardiness, and leave the forces of your customer base intact rather than dispatching them through bad service.
5. “The wise man does at once what the fool does finally.”
Not to be interpreted in its literal sense, this quote is pertinent to dropshipping in that it teaches us that we should learn from those who have been in the same industry but failed in some aspect of dropshipping along the way that. So as not to repeat the same mistakes that they did, but rather identify and learn from them so we don’t repeat them ourselves. As mentioned before in the article one great way of doing this is by following the social media pages of your competition to get an idea on the current dynamics and trends within your industry, but this is minor compared to the reputational and financial costs that you can spare yourself simply by learning the causes of failure in dropshipping, and not repeating them yourself.
Some of the most common cause of failure for dropshippers that we encounter in our line of work include:
- Choosing the wrong niche
- A lack of resource investment into your store
- Choosing the wrong platform to market your business
- Lacking the patience to start and run a store successfully
- Extremely high selling prices on your store’s items
- Unattractive web design, and slow loading speeds
- Painfully long shipping times
Many leaders in the industry attest to the positive effects that the philosophy offered in books can offer you on your quest to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Some literary works find new relevance in the modern era, and author Machiavelli is one such person. With his most relevant quotes listed aimed at bringing out the best in the princes of his time. Now find themselves gaining new life as the perfect accompaniment to anyone looking towards absolute dominance in the dropshipping industry, and to become a prince of his niche in the dropship business.