Drop shipping is a great business to get into as a beginner. The barrier to entry is extremely low, and the possibilities are endless. These two features are what makes this such an appealing home business idea for moms and dads who have little time to devote to new ventures.
First, the cost to start a drop shipping business is really nil if you need it to be. Of course there are costs you can choose to fork out up front that will enable you to do business with more suppliers, or that will make life easier for you in the beginning, but they are not necessary costs that you have to incur if you aren’t quite ready to just yet. My start up costs were minimal starting out frankly because I just didn’t have any extra income to spend on the business. It was a side project idea that I needed to see if it would take off before dumping our family’s savings and our kids’ college funds into. And trust me, that would not have been a popular idea around the dinner table.
And second, it doesn’t require much time to run a drop shipping business. The biggest amount of time comes with customer service, i.e. answering phone calls, responding to emails, placing orders. The most popular option is to outsource this, but it’s understandable that outsourcing is not an option for most people at the start. But really, we’re only talking about several minutes throughout the day, and a few more at night to place orders and send a couple emails. I love this idea. I stay busy with our family and children pretty much all day. That, combined with my 9 to 5 job leaves little time to commit or deal with an online business. Drop shipping (the way we do it anyhow) gives me that flexibility to spend time with my family and devote minimal time to a side business that I envision will someday replace my full time income. Ah, working from home. I can see it now…
Back on track, lets talk about a few of the necessary elements once you get your drop shipping business started. These all relate to your website – the face of your online business
These 3 tips will help set your online business apart from the others in your niche. Yes, there will be competition. This is a good thing, though, so don’t worry.
1. Live customer support.
Adding a live chat button to your website is a great way to show customers you are real and serious, and gives the impression you consider their satisfaction a priority. One popular option is Livezilla. This is a free module for Prestashop you can add to your store’s homepage that will give the shopper the option to click to receive live customer chat. It’s great for turning browsers into buyers. It does require someone to monitor it full time for it to work as its intended, and this can be outsourced later down the road. If you aren’t logged in to your computer the module simply shows the chat support as “offline”.
2. Toll free phone number.
Instant credibility. That’s what a toll free phone number screams to a potential customer when they are on your website. We’ve all been to the shady looking websites that there’s just no way I would ever fork over my credit card information to. These are the ones that look ancient, have a thick sales pitch, and no contact information displayed. This is great for them so they can steal your information and you have an incredible time trying to track them down.
When you display a telephone number as a way for a customer to contact you, it immediately makes you legitimate and customers feel at ease about buying off your site. I was fortunate to have free toll free number provided by my hosting company. HostGator partners with VOIPo to provide a free toll-free phone number when you register with their Business Plan. If you currently use another hosting company, you can still signup for a VOIPo toll free number by going to their website. Just to give you another option for hosting if you happen to be shopping for a new host, BlueHost has gotten great reviews and is used by a lot of top bloggers. They have hosting plans starting out at $4.95 per month.
3. Be able to accept credit card transactions.
Some people are not comfortable with using PayPal. Or they do not already have an account set up and don’t want to go through the hassle of setting one up. It’s very likely if there is another website selling the same item and they accept credit cards, the shopper will go to that site for their purchase instead of yours. is probably the most popular credit card processing solution out there. PayPal has a merchant solution also, and they have a virtual terminal where you take orders by phone and type in the customer’s credit card number yourself. Either one of these are good solutions.
There aren’t a lot of differences between the two processing methods mentioned above. The key is to be able to accept credit card payments. Like the other tips above, this gives your customer confidence in their purchase. And that is enough to make or break any sale online.
I hope you find these tips useful for your ecommerce website. Now they don’t do much for you if you don’t put them into practice. So pick one, just one today, and if you don’t already have it, implement it into your website today. Get something accomplished. Take one stride towards your ultimate goal of financial freedom and spending more time at home with your children. Whatever your dreams are, do just one of these steps today so you are closer to that end goal.
There, that’s my motivational speech for the day. But really, I want to see you all succeed and accomplish your goals. So,
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”
A nice quote from Tony Robbins to get you jump started for the day.