Let’s face it. You’ve probably started a Shopify free trial once or twice before, imported some products to your site, and maybe even threw a few bucks at Facebook for some entry-level advertising! To your surprise, dropshipping wasn’t as easy as most internet “gurus” claim it to be.
Here’s what 99.9% of “internet masterminds” won’t tell you: There is no such thing as a get rich quick business model. If it were that easy to do, it would have already been exploited 1 million times over. Although this might not be what you were hoping to read today, the fact of the matter is that dropshipping is hard. It takes discipline, sacrifice, and lots of long nights in front of your computer screen.
The good news is that dropshipping is the business model with the smallest barrier to entry.
Think about it; you can sell anything in the world, from any niche, without ever touching or seeing the product. Incredible.
Why is it that most people cannot cross the chasm of trial and error and scale their store successfully? What I’ve discovered as an e-commerce consultant working with thousands of students over the last few years is one common theme: Persistence.
THE NAME OF THE GAME IS TESTING.
My most successful students didn’t win big on their first, second, third, or tenth product. They won after trying dozens and dozens of products over months, and, at times, years!
Don’t get me wrong, every experiment has outliers, but you can’t get fooled by thinking every successful dropshipper wins big on product number one! That’s just unrealistic, and those expectations will discourage you, drive you crazy, and eventually force you to throw in the towel.
Without further adieu, let’s jump into the high-level overview for laying down a rational framework with realistic expectations for dropshipping.
SETTING UP SHOP
There are a few necessary startup costs associated with every business, and one of the most common themes over the last five years or so has been investing in a dropshipping course. In my opinion, save your money off the bat.
YouTube has tons of free resources that can show you the basics of starting a Shopify dropshipping store (i.e., buying a domain, designing your site, setting up a Facebook Ads Manager, etc.).
After you’ve completely exhausted YouTube’s massive library of free resources and feel like you’re ready for high level consulting, you may want to look into Zendrop Academy. Zendrop Academy is open for all Zendrop users and consists of 35+ high-level tutorial videos covering all bases, from various testing, bidding, and scaling strategies to analyzing and interpreting data.
Start with the Essentials
There are thousands of tools, apps, and extensions that you can apply to your dropshipping business, but I’m going to be real with you: You don’t need more than ten platforms to crush it online.
My best advice would be to use the bare necessities.
Here’s what you really need to start off
- Shopify: Host your site
- Zipify: OneClickUpsell tool
- Zendrop: Import products and automatically fulfill orders
- Klaviyo: Email marketing and automation
- Google Sheets: Track profit and loss
- Free Shipping Bar: Average order value and conversion booster
- Facebook: Paid traffic
- Keywords Everywhere – Keyword research extension
By no means should you be limited to the above; this is my recommendation when starting. As you begin to scale, do your due diligence and research any new apps or services you wish to add.
Keep to a Disciplined Regimen
After joining a local gym, do you expect to be competing with world-class powerlifters the next week? Of course not. If dropshipping is new to you, understand that, like anything out there, you must work on your craft consistently to compete with the best.
Remember this: the market is a very fair place. If you put in the work, face adversity, and keep showing up as your best self day in and day out, you’re bound to reap the benefits. As I said earlier, don’t be fooled by these fake gurus out there. Dropshipping follows the same principles as most things in life. Work hard, stay focused, keep learning, and grow slow and steady.
RUN A CLEAN SHOP
The worldwide web is a vast place filled with all sorts of surprises. Don’t ever forget that on the other end of every visitor, click, and sale is another human being.
There will be plenty of opportunities to cut corners at another individual’s expense, but the “success” you may obtain at this point loses its meaning. Do the right thing always. Running an ethical company that’s upfront and honest with its customers will always pay off in the end.
Always be completely transparent.
HAVE FUN WITH IT
Dropshipping isn’t for everyone. The idea of earning an income while you sleep will have everyone signing up, but you need to be passionate about running an online business to get there. If money is the sole motivation, nine times out of ten, you won’t succeed in dropshipping.
Before diving headfirst into your store, ask yourself, “Is dropshipping really for me?” Please realize that this is a more significant commitment than it may seem to be at first.