Setting your own hours, working from the beach, no angry boss in sight. Sounds pretty good right?
Even better – no more waiting for that elusive pay rise!
If you’re feeling like employee life isn’t all that it’s cut out to be, you’re not the only one. More and more people are realizing they need to take things into their own hands.
Does entrepreneur sound like a hat that might fit you? It might sound scary to begin with, but you could be the one to start the next multi-million-dollar business!
There’s HUGE earnings potential in eCommerce that’s only predicted to grow in the coming years, and what’s even better is that Dropshipping doesn’t require a large startup capital.
But where to begin? The internet is a sea of information that can be overwhelming, but we’re here to tell you that you can stop blindly searching the web.
SaleHoo has 15+ experience under its belt and our team of experts are dedicated to making your eCommerce dreams a reality.
So how about it, entrepreneur-to-be? Shall we explore your path to success?
Let’s Start with Your Options
Wholesale, Dropship, Manufacturing? What does it all mean and which one is the best one?
As with any business decision, the best fit depends on your preference, skill set and personal situation.
When comparing Wholesale and Dropshipping, the main differences are upfront costs, where your inventory is located, and who owns it. Our handy table below will give you a good idea of which option is best for you.
|Purchasing inventory in bulk at cheaper rates
|Work with a trusted supplier and pay products per order. Supplier directly ships orders.
|Custom-make your own products
What is?Purchasing inventory in bulk at cheaper rates
- Lower cost per unit (CPU)
- Fulfilment to your exact specifications
- Higher start-up costs
- Storing inventory can be disruptive (your house) or expensive (warehouse)
What is?Work with a trusted supplier and pay products per order. Supplier directly ships orders.
- Low startup costs
- Easy to get started
- Rapid-test products to market
- Higher cost per unit can mean smaller margins
- You can run into problems with dodgy suppliers (more on how to prevent this later!)
What is?Custom-make your own products
- Big earnings potential
- Full control over product specs
- Very high start-up capital
- High risk
- Longer timelines to market
Are You Worried About...
For all the positives of starting an online business, there are always those nagging concerns that stop you from going ahead with your idea.
Let’s alleviate those worries with a bit of expert input.
Dropshipping is one of the easiest ways to start an online business on a limited budget. While you do need a little bit of cash to set up your store and run your first rounds of ads, you can do so with as little as $200 - $1000.
Once you start selling, you can reinvest initial profits into marketing and grow your business from there.
The million dollar question! We’re not going to lie. Dropshipping and eCommerce are not a magic wand (is anything really?!). You will need to put in some time and effort, especially as you’re getting started.
You will test things and fail, then learn from your experiences and move on to try again with more information. It can be hard work setting up a business, but the pay off is immense.
Plus at SaleHoo, we’ve all been where you’ve been! So all our expert advice, tools and functionality are targeted at helping you out every step of the way.
How long it takes until you’re making money from your business depends on many variables, so there’s no one-size-fits-all answer here. Are you working on your business full-time or as a side hustle? How much budget are you investing into ads and how much research have you put into your products?
From going live in your store and running your first ads, it can take from a couple of weeks to a few months to see positive results. As you gather more and more data through ads and analytics, you’ll be fine-tuning your products, store and ads until you hit a winner. And it’s only upwards from there!
Picking the right product is important, for sure. It’s what will make or break your sales. But don’t forget that one of the advantages of dropshipping is that you’re able to trial different products without much risk. So do your research into competitors, audience and trends, but don’t overthink it either. (We’ll learn more about fine-tuning your product-selection process later on)
We can’t stress enough the importance of working with honest and reliable suppliers. They have such a big influence on your business and customer experience!
There are a lot of scammers out there (especially on AliExpress), so you need to do your homework here. We’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how to find suppliers below.
Now, does this make you feel a little calmer about what lies ahead? We hope so! Because it’s time to get into the nitty gritty of your eCommerce journey to success.
We will start you off with Dropshipping, as this is honestly the best and easiest way to get a foot through the door.
Steps to Get Started
We want to make things as easy for you as possible, so we’ve divided the process of getting started into a few simple steps. Peppered with useful insider tips throughout.
First up, you need to think about your product.
1. Decide on a product to sell
Dropshipping allows you to be flexible with products, but you still need to do your research when it comes to making sure a product has potential.
SaleHoo Labs is a top-tier market research tool that lets you browse thousands of products and gather data on their sellability. Easily filter by category, sell rate, average price or competition to narrow down your search.
Or, if you’re completely flummoxed, find the latest trends we’ve identified by browsing our ‘Product Trends’ category.
Once you’ve short-listed a few products you’re happy with, you can move onto checking out our database of quality suppliers to find someone you want to work with.
And if you need to talk through any of your ideas or get any questions answered, our widely lauded support team of experts is available to chat 24/7.
2. Find a supplier
If there’s one thing you want to avoid at all costs it’s getting scammed by dishonest suppliers!
You may have heard the horror stories and unfortunately there seems to be an ever-growing list of clever tricks these unsavory characters have up their sleeve.
That’s why we pre-vet all suppliers listed on SaleHoo Dropship. All businesses you’ll find through us are 100% trustworthy and stock products with a profit margin at least 3x higher than cost.
Now, take a look back over your product research. You can search for suppliers stocking specific products using the search bar, or, if you want a broader choice, browse within any product category relevant to you.
With all results, you can filter through thousands of available suppliers by price and number of orders to find exactly the right fit for you.
And what’s even better? You can also search by delivery estimate and supplier location to find suppliers with local warehouses in Australia, the US and UK. A handy feature if you’re looking to reduce shipping times to your customers.
Whoever you choose to work with, you can have the confidence there won’t be any nasty surprises once orders start going out. Good news for both you and your customers! Speaking of customers, let’s take a look at the next crucial step on your journey…
3. Build your store
Once you’re all set with a product and supplier you’re happy with, it’s time to create the home base for your business: your online store. We recommend using Shopify for its many useful features and intuitive usability, but there are various options out there.
Shopify stores seamlessly integrate with SaleHoo Dropship. You can do so through your account settings or the Dropship homepage, so you really can’t miss it.
A couple of clicks is all it takes to connect your store to your SaleHoo account and voila! You’re ready to roll and access all those handy time-saving features and tools to make your life so much easier.
4. List your products
When your store is live and ready to go, it’s finally time to list your products. Now all you have to do is live through the tedious process of copying and pasting product descriptions, downloading and re-uploading images and slowly losing your mind in the process.
Just kidding! You can save time spent on product descriptions and uploading images with SaleHoo Dropship’s simple One-Click Import. It’ll populate your store within moments and forego the need to even contact and talk to any suppliers.
You’re able to browse through images we have available and pick your favorite ones, plus edit the description to make it fit your brand (or leave it as is for an easy ride). Finally, adjust the product price based on your margin calculations. Make sure you don’t forget to take into account any shipping or administrative costs (e.g. Shopify fees) that might reduce your overall profits and could affect how you want to set the prices in your store.
And to keep those prices geared towards consistent profits at all times, you’ve got our Pricing Control Tool to help you out. It’ll keep your margins steady regardless of any fluctuations on the supplier side. So you can just lean back and watch the orders roll in.
And if you’re wondering how you’ll stay on top of it all…
5. Keep track of your business
With any business there are inevitably a lot of moving parts. It’s all too easy to lose track of products, suppliers, shipping information, orders, sales volume… especially as your business grows and data accumulates.
We know you’ll want all your crucial information in one place and the Dropship Dashboard does just that for you. Here you can easily track latest developments and make tweaks where necessary.
And as always, if you need help with anything, such as pointers on how to increase traffic and sales, we are here to guide you. Our support team of experts is available to chat 24/7.
So, What Are You Waiting For?
Starting an online business truly has the potential to change your life and we can’t wait to see the heights you’ll rise to!
Simon Slade, the heart and brains behind SaleHoo started out without any support or resources in the eCommerce sector over 15 years ago. Today he’s running several successful businesses and making 7 figure sales, but his own hardship inspired him to create the tools that would help future entrepreneurs have an easier journey to realize their dreams.
Start with SaleHoo Dropship today and we’ll be there with you every step of the way.