Dropshipping business is a business of the century and judging from the current trend, it’s going to BOOM in consequent years, if not months. It is not good for an individual to be without a source of income. But today, some people especially the youths has little or no source of income. Some blames it on the government by claiming that there’s no job opportunity, while some blame it on their village witches. If you are among this category of people, I have good news for you.
You must not depend on the government or the white collar jobs to survive, you can increase your chances of getting to the top and enhance your standard of living by starting up a business with little or zero amount of money. Yes, you heard me correctly.
One of the businesses you can easily start on your own is the ‘DROPSHIPPING‘ business.
Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method where a store doesn’t keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, when a store sells a product, it purchases the item from a third party and have it shipped directly to the customer. As a result, the merchant never sees or handles the product. So you starting up this business, you just play the role of the middle-man and go home with your money without stress.
Dropshipping is different from the standard retail model of business.
The biggest difference between dropshipping and the standard retail model is that the selling merchant doesn’t stock or own inventory. Instead, the merchant purchases inventory as needed from a third party – usually a wholesaler or manufacturer – to fulfill orders.
It is mainly an online business though. It makes you think critically and reason logically.
To enable customers to review items similar to those they can purchase, a drop shipping retailer might keep display items on display in a physical brick and mortar store , or provide a product catalog as either hard copy or online , or even some combination of all these methods.
STARTING UP A DROOSHIPPING BUSINESS IN NIGERIA
For you to start up a dropshipping business, you just need to be internet friendly. That’s the only attribute you need to succeed in this business.
You also need the followings to thrive in this business…since it’s mainly an online business, you need;
- A laptop or tablet or smartphone.
- Data, that’s internet access.
- Constant power supply to stay connected.
Drop shipping can occur when a small retailer receives a single large order for a product. Rather than route the shipment through the retail store, the retailer might arrange for the goods to be shipped directly to the customer. Drop shipping is also very common with big ticket items like steel buildings, where the retailer will take a deposit and have the steel shipped directly to the buyer’s building site from the supplier’s manufacturing facility.
BENEFITS OF DROPSHIPPING
For you to appreciate the essence of this dropshipping business , we provide you with some of the major advantages of the business that you can enjoy within the first one year of the establishment
1. LESS CAPITAL IS REQUIRED
Probably the biggest advantage in dropshipping business is that it’s possible to launch an ecommerce store without having to invest thousands of dollars in inventory up front. Traditionally, retailers have had to tie up huge amounts of capital purchasing inventory.
With the dropshipping model, you don’t have to purchase a product unless you already made the sale and have been paid by the customer. Without major up-front inventory investments, it’s possible to start a successful dropshipping business with very little money.
2. EASY TO GET STARTED
Running an ecommerce business is much easier when you don’t have to deal with physical products. With dropshipping business, you don’t have to worry about:
- Managing or paying for a warehouse
- Packing and shipping your orders
- Tracking inventory for accounting reasons
- Handling returns and inbound shipments
- Continually ordering products and managing stock level.
3. LOW OVERHEAD
Because you don’t have to deal with purchasing inventory or managing a warehouse, your overhead expenses are quite low. In fact, many successful dropshipping businesses are run from a home office with a laptop for less than N36,000 ($100) per month. As you grow, these expenses will likely increase but will still be low compared to those of traditional brick-and-mortar businesses.
4. FLEXIBLE LOCATION
A dropshipping business can be run from just about anywhere with an internet connection. As long as you can communicate with suppliers and customers easily, you can run and manage your business.
5. EASY TO SCALE
With a traditional business, if you receive three times as much business you’ll usually need to do three times as much work. By leveraging dropshipping suppliers, most of the work to process additional orders will be borne by the suppliers, allowing you to expand with fewer growing pains and less incremental work. Sales growth will always bring additional work – especially related to customer service – but business that utilize dropshipping scale particularly well relative to traditional ecommerce businesses.
All these benefits make dropshipping a very attractive model to both beginning and established merchants. Unfortunately, dropshipping isn’t all roses and rainbows. All this convenience and flexibility comes at a price.
THE CONS IN DROPSHIPPING BUSINESS
Low margins are the biggest disadvantage to operating in a highly competitive dropshipping niche. Because it’s so easy to get started – and the overhead costs are so minimal – many merchants will set up shop and sell items at rock-bottom prices in an attempt to grow revenue. They’ve invested so little in getting the business started so they can afford to operate on minuscule margins.
True, these merchants often have low-quality websites and poor (if any) customer service. But that won’t stop customers from comparing their prices to yours. This increase in cutthroat competition will quickly destroy the profit margin in a niche. Fortunately, you can do a lot to mitigate this problem by selecting a niche that’s well suited for dropshipping.
If you stock all your own items, it’s relatively simple to keep track of which items are in and out of stock. But when you’re sourcing from multiple warehouses, which are also fulfilling orders for other merchants, inventory changes on a daily basis. While there are ways you can better synchronize your store’s inventory with your suppliers’, these solutions don’t always work seamlessly, and suppliers don’t always support the technology required.
If you work with multiple suppliers – as most drop shippers do – the products on your website will be sourced through a number of different drop shippers. This complicates your shipping costs.
Let’s say a customer places an order for three items, all of which are available only from separate suppliers. You’ll incur three separate shipping charges for sending each item to the customer, but it’s probably not wise to pass this charge along to the customer, as they’ll think you’re grossly overcharging for shipping! And even if you did want to pass these charges along, automating these calculations can be difficult.
Have you ever been blamed for something that wasn’t your fault, but you had to accept responsibility for the mistake anyway?
Even the best dropshipping suppliers make mistakes fulfilling orders – mistakes for which you have to take responsibility and apologize. And mediocre and low-quality suppliers will cause endless frustration with missing items, botched shipments and low-quality packing, which can damage your business’s reputation.
Is It Worth It?
As we initially warned, dropshipping isn’t a perfect, stress-free way to build a successful business. The model has some definite advantages but comes with a number of built-in complexities and problems you’ll need to be able to address.
The good news is that with some careful planning and consideration, most of these problems can be resolved and need not prevent you from building a thriving, profitable dropshipping business.
I’m looking forward to seeing you start your own dropshipping business because I know you will make it….