Do You Need a College Degree to Succeed?

On our latest episode of 9 to NEVER: The Podcast for Entrepreneaurs, host Kennedy Meek answers some very pressing questions asked by our Zendrop users.

How much money is required to start a dropshipping store? Is dropshipping too saturated? Is it illegal? Who can be successful in eCommerce?

If any of these questions peak your interest, this episode is for you!

You can listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, watch it on Youtube, or read the following transcript below.

How much money do you need actually to start a dropshipping store?

If you know anything about dropshipping up until this moment, you will know is that the barrier for entry is extremely low. What this means is it doesn’t actually cost a lot of money to start a dropshipping store. This is the beauty of dropshipping in the first place. However, what is the exact number that you should be thinking about when it comes to a realistic price point for a dropshipping store? Well, let’s think of what we need in order to start a dropshipping store.

First and foremost, you will need a Shopify account. Shopify charges $29 a month for a basic plan that will work for a dropshipping store. Additionally, you will need to purchase a domain name. Domains are fairly cheap. You can actually purchase straight through Shopify or through another source, like GoDaddy. And depending on the actual domain name that you choose, you’re looking at spending around $12 a year.

Then you’ll need to think about your fulfillment resource. Zendrop is a fulfillment resource and our Pro Membership costs $49 a month. We always recommend trying out our platform for free, first. In fact, you get a seven-day free trial when you sign up for our Pro membership!

Now, we’ve covered the basics. We have your Shopify store price point, your domain name, and your fulfillment resource (aka Zendrop). Next, we need to consider Facebook and other forms of paid advertising. In order to gain success with a dropshipping store, you will need to be testing many products, specifically in the initial phases of your online business. In terms of a realistic budget, it is completely up to you! However, the speed at which your store starts to make sales is directly correlated with how much you are investing in paid advertising. A typical suggestion for new dropshippers is to spend $10 a day per ad on Facebook.

Is dropshipping too saturated?

And the reality is no, absolutely not. If you’re only recently learning about the dropshipping space, I can understand why it might seem very saturated. The more research you’re doing on your own about dropshipping, the more you realize, “Oh my goodness! So many people already knew about dropshipping before I did. This is a far too saturated market.”

But here are a few statistics to keep in mind:

  1. There were 2.05 billion online shoppers in 2020.
  2. Of those billions of online shoppers, 23% of all online orders were fulfilled through the dropshipping model.
  3. In fact, 27% of all online retailers have adopted the dropshipping model.

Source

Basically, if someone has an iPhone, or a computer, or any kind of smart device that can get them access to the internet, they are a potential customer of your online store.

Is dropshipping illegal?

Yes, dropshipping is perfectly legal! In simplicity, dropshipping as a form of retail is no different than shopping at your local grocery store. The benefit of dropshipping, however, is that you do not have to order stock in advance. This means you save a lot of money on the front end. And you are only purchasing product when a customer places an order on your store. Now you can run into definitely some copyright infringement or trademark violations. Avoid selling products with brand names or trademarked characters (such as Disney or Marvel).

What are some ways to drive traffic to your online store other than paid advertising?

First and foremost, social media. Instagram and Facebook have a really easy shoppable feature on their app. You can have your customers come directly to your Instagram or Facebook page and place orders directly on that social platform rather than going to your online store. Additionally, TikTok is creating so much opportunity for eCommerce stores right now. In fact, many trending products have come from other TikTok users themselves. Influencer marketing is also a pretty fast way to get your product in front of a bunch of eyes that aren’t in your direct audience.

How can I deal with the longer shipping times in a positive way for my online store?

This is a pretty typical issue that many dropshippers face, until they decide to start selling US-based products. And by the way, Zendrop has a lot of products that ship from the United States, which means far shorter shipping times!

But if you are dealing with long shipping times, which is pretty common for any dropshipper, the reality is you just have to be transparent. You cannot say that your products will get to your customer faster than it actually will. This leads to chargebacks, refunds, and unhappy customers. There are many ways that online stores spin this information in a positive light, so it’s very possible! Just remember to keep honesty as a priority.

Can anyone become successful in dropshipping?

Short answer, yes. What I will say is, success is a mindset, not a formula. Yes, anybody can sign up for Shopify, anybody can sign up for Zendrop and anybody can run Facebook ads for a product online. But there is a certain mindset and stamina that is required to become successful in dropshipping.

One perspective that really sets successful dropshippers apart is understanding that there is no other option except succeeding in dropshipping. The reality is it takes a lot of stamina. It’s a lot of testing different products. Your first product is not going to be your winner.

Internet marketers love to talk about how quickly they got rich from dropshipping. That might be true for some, but the reality is it does take a lot of perseverance through some of those minor setbacks and failures. So yes, anyone can be successful, but how much do you want to be successful? That is going to indicate if you actually are successful or not.

Do you need a degree to be successful?

This is the age-old question. For older generations, college was a requirement for any level of success. You needed that piece of paper to get you in any corporate job. In the present, there are so many other avenues of success and financial freedom that don’t require a college degree.

I don’t want to be the person that tells an 18-year-old not to go to college. College is incredibly valuable and there’s nothing wrong with obtaining higher level education. But is it required for success? Definitely not. Obviously, there are exceptions to this rule. If you have a very specialized career goals, such as the medical field, mental health, or practicing law, you’ll need some level of higher education to qualify for a job. But eCommerce can be learned, and mastered, through experience.

Many individuals who do not have college degrees will make millions of dollars, and many individuals with college degrees are also equally successful. So, there’s no direct path to success and everybody’s path is going to look different.

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