Drop shipping has recently become one of the most effective ways to launch a successful business online, while also needing a minimal amount of funds and investment to get started. With more people trying to make money for themselves and starting a business of their own, dropshipping is now more in demand than ever before.
Much like we’ve seen in the world of content creation and blogging, it’s quite easy to get started — but there seem to be only a select few who have mastered the process and gone on to make millions of dollars from their online stores. One of the many benefits of starting a business based around dropshipping, is that you don’t need to re-invent the wheel or come up with that next million dollar idea. Instead, you just need to pick the products you want to sell, go live with an online store, and start promoting your business.
It sounds easy enough, but there is some time, work, and effort that will be involved. This is just the first of many factors that comes into play when looking at those who succeed, and those who fail to find success.
To help with this process, today we are going to take a look at the world of dropshipping, what seems to work best, and how you can get started with your own dropshipping business — or being your existing one to that next level.
Dropshipping 101: What is dropshipping and how does it work?
The concept of dropshopping is quite simple and easy to understand. Oberlo, one of the worlds top dropshipping solutions, has created an excellent explainer video that shows not only how dropshipping works, but also why and how their platform makes it so easy and effective for anyone to start a business online.
This can also be summed up in three simple steps.
- Find Products to Sell
We offer thousands for products from trusted suppliers. You can easily import them into your Shopify store and start selling.
- Fulfill Orders Automatically
When you receive an order you can pay for it with a few clicks. The supplier ship orders directly to customers.
- Focus on Growth
With access to thousands of products and automatic fulfillment, you can focus on growing your sales.
In fact, dropshipping is quite similar to affiliate marketing — in the fact that you don’t need to hold inventory. However, one would need to market their store, connect with a dropshipper, and also process orders. In short, you are running an online store the same way any product-based business is, except that you don’t need to actually hold the product, ship it out, and have a massive upfront investment to spend on inventory.
To learn more about the process, be sure to check out my dropshipping 101 reference guide.
How to find the right products to sell?
As with all business ideas and concepts, you need to know what you are going to sell. It doesn’t necessarily need to be something you are familiar with, but instead something you know how to market and get in front of the right audience.
You should also consider how saturated the market is, what your profit margins are going to look like, and how competitive and pricey it will be to start running paid ad campaigns to promote your online store.
There are actually several tools out there that can help with this process:
- Google Trends allows you take a look at the interest in a product, service, or keyword over time
- Amazon and eBay will give you ideas, sales numbers, and customer reviews
Using these free tools and resources will make it easier for you to find a winning product to sell — which is quite important before launching your site. To also help with this process, I recommend you take a look at this article on how to find the right products to sell, which outlines the following key points.
Most good dropshipping products share similar attributes. When researching potential dropshipping products, keep in mind these five criteria:
- The product’s cost allows for a healthy markup.
- The product is intriguing, unique, or eye-catching.
- The product is difficult to find elsewhere online.
- Consumers find it difficult to guess how much it costs for you to buy the product.
- Consumers are happy to purchase the product without too much research.
Assuming you can walk through this process and find a few products you might be interested in selling, how can you then find the right supplier or dropshipper to start working with?
Where and How to Find Reliable Dropshippers
As someone who has had experience with dropshipping, this process is not only the most important — it can also be the most time-consuming.
I can’t stress this enough. If you are going to build a business of your own, where someone else is fulfilling the product, they need to always be on time, reliable, and trustworthy. Back when I ran my first dropshipping site, I actually acquired an online store and got the direct information for the dropshipper. Nowadays, it’s much easier to find dropshippers online, but finding a good one is like finding a needle in a haystack.
Again, Oberlo has not only created a platform and solution that makes it easy for people to start selling online, they’ve also simplified the process of finding a high-quality dropshipper as well. As the company continues to make big waves in the online business space, they’ve recently come out with their own list of “Oberlo verified” suppliers to work with.
In short, if you want to sell a product and need a reliable dropshipper, just go through their list. In fact, you can pretty much “just pick one, we checked them already“, as they say on their site.
However, this isn’t just a simple hand-selected and verified list, there is actually a whole lot more that goes into it. Take a look at how Oberlo Suppliers stacks up against the competition, and the many factors that go into this verified decision process.
With such data and verified information readily accessible, Oberlo has quickly eliminated one of the most time-consuming and frustrating components of starting an online business.
Best Ways to Effectively Promote Your Online Store
As mentioned earlier, it’s quite easy to go live with a website, blog, or even an online store of your own. The real work and challenge is promoting your content and generating sales.
This will all come down to how you effectively promote your online store, optimize your ad campaigns, and learn to correctly price your product for the best conversions and margins possible.
Some of the best working methods for promoting your dropshipping store are:
- Using Coupons – Everyone loves to save money online. Start offering coupons through your site and not only will you see increased sales, you will also likely see free promotion and traffic coming from various coupon sites and forums as well.
- Affiliate Program – Increase sales and traffic to your site by going live with your own affiliate program. Best of all, you only need to pay out money when new sales come in!
- SEO and PPC Marketing – Online stores will always do greats with organic search rankings and using PPC to get high-quality customers to their site. Each method has their own advantages, but as a store owner, it’s up to you to see where your time and money is best spent.
- Social Media and Remarketing – With more than three-billion users on social media, how can you not take advantage of it? A great way to get started is to place a tracking pixel on your site, then delivering remarketing ads to visitors that didn’t convert on their first visit. Facebook Ads is super easy to set up for this.
- Building a Mailing List – A mailing list is one of the best ways to increase sales and grow your business at scale. Always try to collect the email address of users on your site. Offering a 10% coupon is a great way to get users to submit their email, while also possibly increasing the chance for a sale as well.
If you are still sitting on the sidelines and have always wanted to start an online business of your own, right now is the best time to get started.
Just like we’ve seen how WordPress has made the process of building a website or blog so fast and easy, we are seeing that same transformation taking place in the world of online stores as well. There are little-to-no technical or design skills needed to get started. All it takes is the willingness to put in the time, work, and effort… then follow all of the steps laid out for you above.
6 Workplace Design Tips to Transform Your Office Space
Being in a single space for at least nine hours a day can prove to become a little bland for your employees while working in the office. It doesn’t have to be though! Spending a little bit of time to spice up your office space for the new year can create an overall healthier work environment.
This is something home-based entrepreneurs know all too well. When first starting your side hustle or business, you will likely just be working from a desk, but over time you can customize your workspace to be a place where you actually love being in, and making it your own.
Over the years, I’ve gone through this process plenty of time — whether it be when I was just a kid running my business from a room in my parents house, to moving into our new place, rebuilding after Sandy, and all of the temporary locations in between.
Either way, if you are going to be spending a ton of time in one specific room or location, you might as well make it a fun and professional place to get work done!
To get started, take a look at these top tips to create a new workplace design for 2019.
1. Flexible and Modular Office Furniture
A big trend of 2019 is to take advantage of modular furniture that can be reorganized for group brainstorming or team meetings. Find some office tables and chairs that can be reworked into larger tables for group meetings, or can be broken up for smaller one-on-one brainstorming sessions.
You can also work with companies to build commercial fitouts to make an office space work within the dimensions of the rooms and open spaces you already have. While it might cost a little more money to get this done, it will make for a more professional look and feel over the life of your work area.
2. Focus on Activity-Based Team Projects
Make sure you have spaces for team-building activities. Try to incorporate spaces like lounges, conference rooms, and multipurpose workspaces to increase collaboration and boost productivity. There will always be a need for privacy, so be sure to try and seamlessly blend open spaces into your workplace design without leaving your employees to have to struggle to focus because their desks are right next to the busy activity areas.
3. Design for Employee Wellbeing
It has been proven time and again that our surroundings affect our wellbeing. Considering most professionals spend a good chunk of their day at the office, it is integral that these office spaces focus on human wellbeing.
Do this by ensuring your lounges and restrooms are away from individual workstations to help get your employees moving around. You can also integrate a new trend called biophilic design that combines nature into your workspaces, such as plant walls and windows.
4. Think About Visual Appeal
While functionality is great when thinking about your new workplace design, you also want to make sure the overall look is visually appealing. Millennials specifically enjoy coming to a workstation that promotes inspiration and creativity.
5. Integrate Technology
Our lives revolve around technology, and with computer systems and software playing a huge role in most workspaces, it only makes sense to try and think about creating your workplace design around the technology you will be using on a daily basis. Consider integrating wireless charging stations, interactive displays, and even tabletop touchscreens.
6. Get Your Team Involved
You know your employees best, so why not get them involved? This will allow your team to both ensure the office redesign will fit their needs as well as make them feel like their opinion is welcomed and appreciated.
Ultimately, the way you design your home office or work space is going to come down to what you want to accomplish with it. If you are going to be working in this area by yourself 95% of the time, there is no need to have additional chairs or clutter for guests who are never going to be there.
On the flip side, if you are having clients and guests in your work space quite often, you will want more of a open and free feeling.
This is where the advice and recommendations from fellow co-workers and employees can definitely bring some new ideas and direction to your working space.
What Will You Include in Your Workplace Design?
Start the new year off right with a strategic new workplace design that will offer a healthier and more productive work environment.
What trends will you incorporate into your redesign?
Don’t jump in head first. Contemplate what would work best for your team and then consider these top trends of 2019 that will create the most impact for your team. It will prove to make this year your company’s most successful year yet!
13 Side Hustles You Can Use to Fund a New Venture in 2019
A buzzword floating around for a while now has been “side hustle.” Many entrepreneurs are turning to side hustles as a way to increase income without signing onto massive commitments. This approach can potentially have more flexibility than part time work, allowing entrepreneurs to gain needed income or experience, without over-stressing their routines.
For entrepreneurs looking to fund an initial venture, side hustles may be the perfect solution. As there are a wide variety of side hustles out there, we asked entrepreneurs from YEC to share the kinds of side hustle they think are worth considering, along with how to get started. Here’s what they said:
1. Do Something Automatable
To fund my initial venture, I started selling cell phones on Amazon. I was able to do this because I could ship all of my inventory to Amazon and they would handle all the shipping and returns using their Fulfilled by Amazon service. The key is that your side hustle needs to be automatable. I found suppliers, placed orders and then shipped the inventory to Amazon and I’d call it a day.
2. Try Flipping as a Side Hustle
An entrepreneur I follow is a big proponent of flipping as a side hustle. This doesn’t mean houses, it means anything you have at home that you don’t need, what you’d find at a garage sale or anything you can make a profit on. Apps like Offer Up and others make it extremely easy to list things and sell things without having to tell everyone you know what you’re doing.
3. Do Something Related to Your Venture
You only have so many hours in the day and you want to be using as many as possible to move your life, goals and dreams forward — so don’t squander them working in a completely different direction from what you actually want! These days, you can side hustle in just about any field or industry, so pick one that is going to help get your venture off the ground and prepare you with useful skills.
4. Monetize Your Expertise
Monetizing expertise is the easiest way to build a profitable side-hustle — or even a primary hustle! Everyone is an expert at something, and expertise can be monetized. Figure out what you’re best at, then figure out who needs that skillset. Whether you consult, give speeches, create sponsored content on social media or share another way, there is an audience willing to pay for what you know.
5. Consider Which Category Works Best for You
Undertaking a side hustle can branch into two separate categories: financial reserves and learning opportunities. Paid contracting or freelancing gigs and training opportunities, combined with savings and a frugal lifestyle, help with self-funding a business. Learning opportunities are volunteering and participating in startup communities, building a network for scaling a business quickly. – Mario Peshev, DevriX
6. Rent a Room via Airbnb
Airbnb is a great side hustle for extra cash. Whether you have a room or two at your house you’d like to post on the site or invest in purchasing a house solely to rent out, you can make quite a bit of money. Type in your city or neighborhood in Airbnb and check out your competition. Which places have the most and best reviews? What can you do to differentiate?
7. Drive With Uber
Uber is a great side hustle. Anyone with a car can take advantage of. By providing just a few trips before or after your work day, you’ll have more extra cash in your bank account to put into your new business venture.
– John Turner, SeedProd LLC
8. Start an Affiliate Marketing Site
Starting a business requires a huge amount of energy and dedication. Chances are, you won’t have a lot of energy left over to do something you don’t enjoy. That’s why starting an affiliate marketing site can be such a good fit. Choose a topic you are passionate about that also has sizeable niche of consumers that are interested in it.
9. Sell Things on Facebook Marketplace
Got some stuff lying around your house that you don’t want anymore? Put it up for sale on Facebook Marketplace. You could even go hunting for some great finds at charity shops or garage sales and resell them for a profit right from the comfort of your own home.
– Blair Williams, MemberPress
10. Do Anything That Gives You Free Time
One of my side hustles was working at the front desk of a hotel. I worked the slow shifts and used all my downtime to build my business on my computer. I understood every piece of spare time was valuable to me. Even mowing lawns as a teenager I would listen to Tony Robbins’ CDs. Stay away from anything too physically or mentally intensive so you have the energy to moonlight when you get home.
11. Become an Amazon Prime Seller
It’s surprisingly easy to become an Amazon Prime seller. Considering that there are 100 million Prime members, with the right Prime product, you can make some decent cash. One trick is finding a product that is selling well and no one is selling it with a Prime tag. You will then differentiate by selling the same product with a faster delivery.
12. Start Freelancing
The ideal side hustle brings in money while providing the flexibility you need to grow your main venture. Freelancing fits the bill and you can leverage skills you already have, especially if you have technical expertise — developers are always in demand. However, make sure the side hustle is worth your time; focusing on growing your business might provide better returns in the long run.
13. Do Something You Actually Enjoy Doing
A side hustle offers people the unique opportunity to do what they’ve always dreamed of. Many people, for example, turn to blogging because writing isn’t the most lucrative career path. Whatever you choose should be something you enjoy because it will ultimately be added work. Your side hustle should embrace the cliche of doing what you love so you never have to work a day in your life.
Take these Expert Tips and Start Implementing them Today
Now that you’ve had a chance to read through some expert tips on how to start making some extra money on the side, it’s time to implement these changes into your own business and daily efforts.
Also, if you enjoyed this expert round up, I highly recommend you check out another one on BloggingTips.com which asks 83 online marketing experts the question “How Do I Start a Successful Blog?“. If you don’t already have a website or blog of your own, follow my guide to get started with one today.
9 Secret Tricks for Paying Off Your Business Debt in 2019
Running a business but fear your debt is about to pile up? This is something that happens to many entrepreneurs and marketers when running an online business. Money always seems to go out much faster that it actually comes in.
While it is scary, don’t worry too much about it. It’s normal to have debt; other than equity, you can use debt to finance your business. Go too deep in debt, however, and you could run into the risk of bankruptcy.
If you want a successful business, you need to track the key metrics to ensure it happens. But what should you do when you get into business debt? You have a lot of options to choose from.
Are you ready to learn how to get out of business debt? Read on and learn these tricks.
1. Increase Your Profits
One of the most common ways to pay off your debt is to increase your income. Do your research and try using strategies to raise your revenue. For example, you can make promotions that make interest from your local customers.
Making promotions can make people buy more from you. But this is a balancing act since doing it too much is counterproductive. Check your margins and see if you can raise your prices for more profit.
2. Get Customers to Pay Faster
When billing customers with an invoice, you might get delays from them. You need to make your customers pay faster if you need funds as soon as possible. Make sure that your payment terms are short.
If you allow 90 months to pay, shorten it by half. Most customers will make sure to pay at the very last moment. So that means you need to think about how long you’re willing to wait for their payment.
Track down some late-paying customers. Check for outstanding invoices in your business database. Remind them about the bill and send in some collection letters if it doesn’t work.
3. Cut Costs
Having small business debt means you should spend for the bare necessities. Depending on the amount of debt, you might end up spending even less. That means you need to analyze the things you really need.
Always look for opportunities to cut out things to save your money. You can either make small, minor cuts or a single large cut. Again, you might need to do both if your debt is big enough.
4. Give Your Debt Priority
Check which debts you can pay off first to get out of debt. Check the critical ones with the ability to destroy your business in its entirety. Also, consider the ones that can have a negative effect on your business relationships.
There are some debts that can damage your reputation with your vendors. You need to think about how it affects your future relationships with them. Do this while thinking about the interest rates and possible penalties like the collateral you lose.
5. Negotiate Better Terms
Ask if you can get smaller interest rates or minimum payments. Creditors will try to keep your business afloat. After all, if your business fails, they won’t get anything out of you.
That means they’re more likely to work with you. In most cases, they’ll extend their payment plans or make the debt smaller for you to pay it. They’re better off getting some money than getting nothing at all.
Always talk to your lenders. You might get a pleasant surprise on what they can do for you.
6. Ask for Friend and Family Support
Your loved ones might have the means of helping you out of a debt. They can help you pay it off and you’ll pay them back at a later time. Family members and friends can be great lenders for you.
Often, they’re more understanding and sympathetic with your situation. Most family members might offer little to no interest rates. They’re more likely to let you pay smaller amounts over a longer period of time.
7. Try Debt Consolidation
If you want to know how to dig out of debt, try consolidating your debts. You can check The Credit Review for the best debt relief companies to help you. These might help you pay off all your debts, so you only need to pay one entity for it.
Having a single debt instead of many isn’t the main strength of debt consolidation. Your goal is to take out a loan with better terms compared to the other ones. It’s only worth it if you’re paying a lower interest rate and have longer payment terms.
8. Check Your Budget
When debt piles up, you might need to revisit your company’s budget. That means you need to make a budget that fits your company’s financial situation. Ensure that the profits are enough to cover more than your usual monthly costs like utilities.
Set a portion of the remaining profit for variable costs. Once done, devote as much money as you can to pay off your debt. It’s especially important if you have credit card debt since you need to pay more than the minimum.
9. Seek Counsel
Making negotiations with your creditors are rarely a good experience. If your creditors aren’t as cooperative, you might need the help of a counseling group. These non-profit organizations often give debt-management advice to both individuals and small businesses alike.
The helpfulness of their advice depends on how worse your debt situation is. You might have some complicated debt issues to resolve. In this case, it’s better to check with a bankruptcy attorney and ask for their advice on the matter.
Get Out of Business Debt Today!
Being in debt isn’t a pleasant experience no matter how you look at it. But in some cases, you need to get into debt to ensure that your business doesn’t go under. The part most business owners have difficulty involves paying it back.
If you want to get out of business debt, try these tips. They’re not difficult to do, but it needs management skills and consistency. The process will be difficult, but the end result of being debt-free is worth all the effort.
Would you like to start a home business instead? Read this post and learn about the benefits of starting one. It’s far cheaper to run than paying rent for your business premises.
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