Like MOST beginner entrepreneurs, I was instantly flooded with heaps of content - 'Start making money today,' 'Do this to get rich,' 'The best business model for overnight success,' and the list goes on.
But in my early days, there was one that stood out like a sore thumb, one business model, which now that I think about, has lots of mixed opinions.
If you read my first blog, you would know that this business model is none other than the infamous 'dropshipping' business model.
For those who are unfamiliar (which is highly unlikely), dropshipping is essentially this:
- Find a product that can be bought at somewhat low prices and sold for more
- Create a (Shopify) store to sell these products
- Market these products to get customers
So I set out, creating my logo, the website, social media accounts, and started searching Alibaba and Aliexpress extensively, reaching out to many Chinese suppliers who manufactured this product.
After a few weeks, I had finally found a supplier that I can trust and negotiate with. I had found my long-term business partner and we were ready to build the next big thing together.
Now, this is where the second problem immediately arose. See, in today's day and age where things such as Amazon's next day delivery and platforms such as TikTok, it's very hard to maintain people's attention because everything is expected instantly, We're in an era where instant gratification is all we know.
"I'm going to be filthy RICH!"
Two buttons and I was about to become 'The 17-year-old prodigy who earns £300,000 a year from home after leaving school.'
I woke up and immediately turned on my phone to admire those notifications and...
I wasn't as special as I thought. Time to go back to what I knew best; video games.
- Dropshipping is a business like any other. It's not a get-rich-quick scheme and you shouldn't treat it as one.
- Although the process of building a business may be simple, there are hundreds and thousands of underlying minor details you have to learn to master in order to successfully run a business.
- Don't start with 'busy work,' start with what moves the needle, the important stuff first. I started by creating a logo and the site. You should start with the research. Who do you want to serve and what problems do they face? What can you build to solve those problems in a more effective way than the current alternatives?
- Dropshipping is slightly different from e-commerce, E-commerce is engineered to where you have to build out and iterate a product, not just find it on Aliexpress. Anyone can dropship, few can build real value.
- Don't aim for perfection, you'll never get there. Aim to validate as fast as possible with real customer data, see what people do, how they interact with your site or ads, and where your shortcomings are. Improve those with real data instead of predicting what people MAY do on your site. It took me almost the whole 3 months to finally launch my store. If I were to recreate it now, it would only take me a week or two.
- One ad campaign will not change your business, it's also an iterative process. Business is a science. Experiment, learn and adapt through real data. I made the mistake of getting one video created, instead, you should test out different videos, images, copy, and headlines.
- Don't be afraid to spend. As long as you've done the rest right, optimising will only lead to success eventually.
- Don't give up too early. No one bought my product because of many reasons. It took me a while to learn that people don't buy products based on logic. They buy with emotion and justify with logic. This is why you explain the benefits to people in your messaging rather than the features.
Till next time,