Establishing a dropshipping business is hard work. It takes many steps and decisions done at the right time to work well. As a way to help would-be drop shippers in starting a dropshipping business, I put together this step-by-step guide to start selling dropshipping products.
With this guide, you’ll be able to learn about dropshipping, build better business strategies, and prepare yourself for the worst that could happen in your dropshipping journey. This guide includes the following steps when starting a dropshipping business:
- Learning About Dropshipping
- Getting a Business License and Other Applicable Permits and Licenses
- Selecting a Product to Sell
- Research and Preparation
- Setting Up the Dropshipping Store
- Launching the Dropshipping Business
- Post Launching Activities
Step 1: Learning About Dropshipping
Educating yourself about dropshipping is always first and foremost. You should know how it works, what are the essential skills you’ll need, and where to look for to compensate for the knowledge and abilities that you lack. It is also important that you know whether dropshipping locally or internationally would be better for you. If you intend to start dropshipping as a side hustle, you should learn to manage your time effectively to keep your job and side hustle running smoothly. These posts can help you prepare for what lies ahead in the world of dropshipping.
Step 2: Getting a Business License and Other Applicable Permits and Licenses
Wherever you may be located in the world, you must first secure a business license and other required permits and licenses to run a dropshipping business. This is to ensure that you will be operating legally and have the legal documents to show when required.
Step 3: Selecting a Product to Sell
Often the most challenging part of starting a dropshipping business, choosing the product to sell should be done carefully. You should learn the pros and cons of having a one-product or a general store to determine which one should you have. Below you can find posts on choosing the best dropshipping products, how to white label winning products, and why you must avoid selling dropshipping products.
After you have shortlisted product ideas, you need to validate their profitability. This is to ensure that the products you will be selling in your store are not yet saturated and have the potential market. You wouldn’t want to sell products that are available locally or already losing market demand.
Once you have decided on what products to sell, it’s time to look for reliable suppliers. Regardless of which online retail service you will be dropshipping products from, AliExpress, Doba, etcetera, you should ensure that you will only partner with reputable suppliers. From approaching to negotiating with dropshipping suppliers, the following articles can serve as your guide.
Step 4: Research and Preparation
You must size up your competition so you can come up with strategies that will give you an edge over them. As you will be selling dropshipping products that are also being carried by other dropshipping store having some advantages can help you acquire customers for your business. Learn the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors by checking their stores, social media pages, and the kind of ads they are running. When you have an idea on their pricing, marketing, and distribution tactics you’ll be able to formulate strategies that would give your business an advantage.
After you have completed the research of your competitors, the next thing to do is to create your business plan. When you have a business plan, you’ll be able to determine the things to prioritize and how you can reach new customers effectively. With it you can do the following:
- Plan ideas, timelines, and resources.
- Evaluate ideas to choose the ones with the highest potential for success.
- Recruit employees to carry out their plans if necessary.
Step 5: Setting Up the Dropshipping Store
To set up a dropshipping store, you must have a business name and a logo. Choose a name that people can pronounce and memorize. Having a killer name can make your business stand out from the crowd and advantage over your competitors. Here are some tips on finding the right business name:
- Aim for a short, snappy name that is memorable and fits perfectly in the header of your store’s homepage.
- Pick a name that is completely different from your competitors but represents your niche and the products you’re selling.
- Use an original name that is not yet trademarked and shows up in the search results of Google or Bing.
When you already have the name and logo, it’s time to build your dropshipping store. Many first-time drop shippers prefer to create their websites with Shopify as it enables them to build a functional store without hiring web developers or designers. You can simply sign up to Shopify and set up your store. However, you should consider the essential elements in building out your website to ensure that it will be able to successfully convert traffic that lands on your pages. These are useful resources you can read.
Step 6: Launching the Dropshipping Business
Once you have completed all the pre-launching activities, you can launch your store by making it live. Don’t expect to get a sale on the first day because that rarely happens without the help of promotional posts and ads. This is why you have to focus on marketing your store to build awareness of your brand and get people over to your website.
Step 7: Post Launching Activities
After launching your store, the hard work of marketing your dropshipping products follows. Creating ads, building a social media presence, and marketing on social media are strategies that can help boost traffic to your website. There are tools available you can use to help drive engagement with potential customers and retain the businesses of existing ones. Your dropshipping business is at risk for fraudulent transactions and activities, therefore, you should learn how to lessen that risk by taking up preventive measures to protect your business. Here are articles that can provide you tips on marketing your dropshipping business while protecting it from frauds.
Starting a dropshipping business is an exciting and challenging project. I hope that with this guide you’ll know to approach it the right way. The journey is hard but achieving your goals will be worth every heartache you’ll get from it.