Dropshipping is a lucrative business that persons looking to start a new venture can consider getting into. When done correctly, one stands to make handsome profits from them. It is worth noting that just as with other businesses, there are pros and cons, but these can be mitigated. Here, we are going to explore the various mistakes that those new to market make based on research. These are going to save you time and money as you don’t have to make these mistakes. You, therefore, don’t have to make the error to learn from your mistakes.
In this article, we’re going to give you information that will guarantee that you don’t get into the business blindly. The purpose is to avoid putting you, the business owner, in a position where you have to shut down the company after running it for a short time. Some of the tips might come across as evident, but they are often ignored, much to the peril of the business. Others might be new information that is vital to the running of your dropshipping business.
Let’s dive in.
1. Expecting Quick Money
There is a misconception that running a dropshipping business is easy. It is assumed that the fact that you don’t require an inventory or have a delivery system in place makes the entire business process appear easily doable. The perception is that a person only needs to be concerned with the paperwork, getting the right supplier, and posting the product on their website. However, that is not the reality on the ground.
When getting into drop shipping, one should not expect quick money. Just as with any business, you’re required to nurture the business and be patient, waiting for it to grow. Therefore, it is essential that one’s mentality is not geared on making fast money but building a lasting business, and giving it time to develop.
2. Investing all the capital setting up an online store
The other mistake new dropshipping business owners make in investing a bulk of their money in setting up the online store. That is usually on the assumption that business will pick up immediately. However, that’s not always the case; in business, certain things are not guaranteed. Instead, set up a store that will attract customers and reinvest our profits on expending the online store. You don’t want a scenario where you’re unable to keep the business afloat when things are running slow.
3. Giving up after the first failure
Mistakes are inevitable in business, and it’s no different when it comes to dropshipping. It’s not uncommon to fail in some aspects, and that can breed frustration. Instead, keep in mind that it is common for companies to take time before they start making business profits. Failure is also an invitation to go back to the drawing board and straighten up a few things.
Overall, it takes time to grow a company. Learn from your failures and fast and, after that, move on. It helps to make decisions based on research so that you can make informed decisions. Big companies are where they are because they did not give up due to frustrations brought about when the company is having teething problems. Also, remember that mistakes are quite natural. What matters is how you respond to them.
4. Failing to invest in quality customer support
Customer support is one crucial aspect that determines how successful your company will be. Part of why it is important is because customers want to be assured that they are getting value for their money. They equally want to know that you value them all the while appreciating them for supporting your dropshipping business. Don’t fall prey to the idea that it is not crucial to have a customer support team.
You want people on the ground who can resolve problems in real-time and answer queries. You also want to get feedback from your clients concerning the product. That way, you can make adjustments where necessary. Remember to thank your clients. One of the ways you can do that is by writing a personalized email thanking them for their support. There is software that can aid you with the automation of the same. As a result, you get to build trust and confidence in your customers and as a result, earn their loyalty.
5. Complex return process
Shipping details ought to be clear from the get-go. What’s more, there should be information provided with regards to the mailing information a customer can use when making returns. With dropshipping, this is a little more complicated. You don’t handle the inventory and shipping, and therefore, the product cannot get returned to you.
Here is where you ought to have a strong working relationship with your supplier. Have a conversation about how they will handle returns. They also need to be hands-on, so they can let you know if someone is viable for a refund or not. No customer wants to feel that they’ve lost money, so they do need to be at ease with your returns and refunds policy. Streamline the process early on to avoid losing customers based on technicalities.
Overall, make the process easy and hustle-free for your customers. Be fair with the process as well as there could be legitimate concerns with the product they are returning. For example, it could be a factory defect that got missed in the process. Remember to be helpful throughout the transaction as some people might require extra help.
6. Starting with a low budget
Before your business can pick and sustain itself, you need enough capital to keep the company afloat. Some make the mistake of not investing enough in the company based on the assumption that they will be making quick profits in no time. Don’t only think of the selling part and forgo all the other vital aspects of the business.
You need finance for, as mentioned, designing the website, marketing the products, paying salaries, paying for inventory, and the like. As you start your business, ensure that you have accounted for everything that you will need to have the company running at optimum. Sit down with a financial planner and a business developer so that you can get sound advice if you can.
Come up with an elaborate budget. Don’t move forward without doing so as you might run out of funds to do essential things. Establish how much making your online store will be, find out what the marketing costs will be, etc. Take adequate time to research, plan, and consult; don’t merely wake up one morning and decide to start a dropshipping business.
7. Failing to research the niche
A mistake many startups make is assuming that there is a need for the product they are selling. Liking and believing in a product does not guarantee the success of it. That is why market research is essential. Failure to perform this crucial task will result in the closure of the business even before it gets off the ground. You, therefore, have to ensure that you’re selling products that your target market needs.
Having a fantastic website and running marketing campaigns is not enough to get you, customers. First, establish who your target market is and what their needs are. You’ll require looking into historical data, research market trends, and even conduct focus groups to establish what the right product to sell is. Doing so also makes it easier to come up with a company name that speaks of the niche products it is selling.
To succeed in this area, you do need to have sufficient funds allocated to it on your budget. Though it is a cost, it will save you money that you could otherwise have lost from selling the wrong kind of products. Don’t wait to fail to realize that the call you made wasn’t the right one.
8. Waiting for this to be perfect to start
At this point, the reference is not to start a business without a plan. It’s not about jumping in haphazardly after deciding to start a dropshipping business. That is far from the case. The point is that no business begins correctly. Not everything has to be in place for you to start. As long as the current systems you have put in place can get the company moving, then that’s enough. You’ll quickly find that some things get resolved as you continue running the business.
Some aspects come into place with the growth of the business. It would be improper to worry about international shipping rates when you’re yet to sell your first product locally. That is unless you’re targeting the global market. Start with getting things moving, and when issues come up, you can sort them out on the go.
Another aspect we can use as an example is getting branded packaging and other such items. You don’t need to wait to have enough money to purchase in bulk. You can print or make more as you go along. Monitor and evaluate how the business runs in its first days or weeks and make changes accordingly. Do remember, nothing will be perfect at any one point.
9. Using one supplier
Even with a niche business, signing contracts with a singular supplier is not the best idea. That’s because anything can happen. Some of the issues that can arise from having one supplier are that they could become overwhelmed with orders from other companies and as a result, end up delaying shipping out products to your customers. Alternatively, they could be unable to stay afloat and close down, leaving you with orders you cannot fulfill. A byproduct of any of these and other scenarios is losing customers.
The other reality is that the company could choose to hike up their cost with no warning, leaving you to operate at higher costs. It could even force you to unexpectedly raise your prices, much to the discontentment of your customers. To avoid this and other issues, work with multiple suppliers. Opt to work with companies that align with your values. Also, ensure that they have a proven track record of fulfilling orders. Start with a few and vet them as you move forward, working with those that prove themselves to be reliable.
Before committing to working with a client, do your research on the current market prices of the products you are selling. It would be unfortunate to find out that one supplier was overcharging you for something that goes for a lot cheaper. Compare pricing and settle for what works for you. Remember not to neglect quality and shipping timelines when you’re making the decision.
Pro tip: Pick out a few suppliers and order products from them as a customer. Compare the quality of the products you get, the delivery timeline, and their customer support services. Other areas to look into are if the product arrived to you on the stipulated time. There is also if the packing was damaged during shipping. Also, find out their returns and refund process to establish the ease with which you can get the product back to them and get your money back.
10. Failing to have a clear marketing framework
Another error newbies to dropshipping makes are launching a business without having a clear marketing plan. Marketing is indeed a crucial part of any business as it brings people to the ‘door.’ You will find that quality products and excellent shipping mechanisms in place are not enough to get you the sales you desire. You need something that will attract potential clients to try out your products.
There are various ways to market your product. That could be through paid advertising, blog posts, or other channels. When starting your dropshipping, find out what the best avenue to market your products is based on how to reach your target audience. Be sure to share as much information about the product so that customers can make an informed decision.
Here we have highlighted the top ten mistakes that newbies to the dropshipping business make. There are trade rules that are essential for your success in the industry. These ought to aid you in making an informed decision.