Did you know that almost 30% of Americans are self-employed?
Simply put, people have had enough of trading their time for someone else's profit. When you work for a company, you're always helping someone above you to get richer while you do all of the hard work, which definitely isn't fair. So, American workers around the country have started to look for ways they can take charge of their income, be their own boss, and trade their time for the value it has to them.
If you're looking to step out of the corporate market and quit your nine to five, there are a lot of different routes you can take. You can become a copywriter, set up a freelance photography business, or start a dogsitting company from your own home. But all of these require you actively working day in, day out to earn your money.
Out of that 30% of Americans, there are a few that have managed to make passive income streams work for them. This is income that's generated without you having to do anything once you've got your business off the ground, like royalties from a novel. But not everyone can write a bestseller!
This is where dropshipping comes in. It's a passive income source that can help you live a more free life, where you're in charge of every day you live.
Find out everything you need to know in our guide to how to dropship and set up your passive income stream.
The first step to setting up your dropshipping business is learning exactly what it is. In the simplest of terms, dropshipping is selling a product to a customer via a third-party vendor or supplier.
It's a retail fulfilment method that bypasses the traditional method of owning the stock yourself before selling it on. Instead, you buy the product directly from the vendor when an order is placed, and the vendor sends it straight to your client. You don't ever even have to see the products that you're selling!
This whole system is done online, so you don't need a store or anything like that. All you do is set up an online site that advertises your products. Simple!
When it comes to the benefits of dropshipping, you're spoilt for choice! There are tons of perks to this new income stream that are making it an increasingly popular method of earning a living. Let's dive into some of them so that you can work out whether this is the right business idea for you.
Dropshipping revolutionized the way we buy and sell. You're like the middleman between the vendor and the buyer, running an online store but never having to deal with the products. This brings a ton of advantages.
For example, you don't have to worry about storing all of the items. Whether you'd be storing your products in a spare room or having to pay for a warehouse, this is definitely a benefit! It could save you a lot of money and hassle, and makes the whole business model easier for you.
It also makes your business easier to scale. As you have more money to invest from your profits, you can start stocking more without having to worry about upgrading your storage - because you don't need any! If you discover that a bigger business isn't what you want, you can easily scale down again without any repercussions.
Unlike other self-employed career routes, like writers and artists, dropshipping doesn't require any professional skills. You don't need to have a degree to get customers or be trained in anything. As long as you know how dropshipping works, you're good to go!
This makes it a much more accessible income. After a day or two of research, you can start setting up your business and earn money within a week of hearing about dropshipping!
There are also very low costs involved in the setup of your dropshipping company. Aside from buying the products and building a website, there's nothing you have to pay for to start earning. Compared to starting a brick and mortar shop - or almost any other business venture - these startup costs are incredibly low.
When you have the products yourself, you need to process the orders. For larger businesses with more stock, this can be pretty expensive. You have to source the product in your warehouse, package and label it, and then ship it.
Usually, this also means you'll have to hire employees which is super expensive! But, because you pay a small fee to your vendor to do this for you, you can skip out on these big costs. This means it's easier to start generating a profit and, again, make it a more accessible income choice.
Without a doubt, one of the most appealing things about dropshipping is becoming your own boss and earning a passive income! Once you've set up your company, aside from a little maintenance, you can sit back and watch the money start to roll in. You have no one to answer to, no set hours you have to work, and no single location tying you down.
If you want to take a vacation to Tahiti or work from Paris, you can! You're free, and there's nothing better than that.
If you're thinking of starting your own dropshipping company, it's time to learn the ropes. Here are the basic steps that we'll discuss further:
First, choose your niche to keep your products organized and help you develop a clear target audience. Usually, it's best to choose a niche you're interested in, like eco-friendly products or beauty products, so you'll be interested in researching and have some knowledge on what's good and what isn't. You also need to pick a niche of products that are going to earn you a good return and help you make a profit.
Once you know your niche, research your competitors. Make notes of what they're doing that you like and what you don't like, as well as how you'll give yourself a competitive edge over them.
Now it's time to secure a supplier. Take your time to research the different suppliers out there and communicate with them before finding the right fit. Once you have your supplier, build your eCommerce website to sell your products on (if you're not good at building websites, it's definitely worth hiring a developer to do this for you).
Finally, create a marketing strategy. This should include techniques like SEO, social media marketing, and content creation to help your audience find you and start building relationships with customers.
By now, you should be starting to get a pretty good idea of what dropshipping is and how you can do it. To help you grow your knowledge, here are a few frequently asked questions that we've answered.
No. The only person who'll communicate with your customers is you, so brush up on your customer service skills before you go live!
Every good dropshipping company should allow customer returns for defective returns. It's a good idea to check your supplier's return policy for items that are non-defective. Remember, you can always process returns yourself by using your own address.
This depends on which supplier you choose, but most dropshipping suppliers will let you add your own branding to products. However, if you're only selling small numbers of items this might not be available to you.
There are so many different websites for building websites. If you're not a developer, we'd recommend using Shopify, WordPress, or Wix. All of these are easy to use and have tons of informative videos and community help to make building easier!
This is a pretty big question! There's no one answer, but there are ways to give your business a better chance at success. The biggest is by conducting plenty of research before you set it up, and never rushing this step.
Now you know how to dropship, it's time to set up your own business! Remember not to rush the setup process; your research and development will be key to your success.
If you've decided dropshipping isn't for you but would still like to earn an income outside of the office, be sure to check out our range of income ideas!
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