10 Mistakes Everyone Makes With Their Dropshipping Business

When it comes to starting up your own business, dropshipping is one of the easiest ways to get started. Whether it’s a clothing business, a DIY store or even a custom audio equipment reseller, any kind of business can be made easier with dropshipping. You can offer a broad range of products, you can start up your business in just a few days, and you also get more time to spend on improving your brand and developing products.

However, there are a couple of downsides to dropshipping that make it far from fool-proof. So in this article, we’re going to cover 10 of the biggest mistakes that people make when it comes to dropshipping and how you can overcome them.

 

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  1. Having unrealistic expectations

A lot of people think that they can become rich overnight with dropshipping. Unfortunately, that’s an unrealistic expectation as dropshipping businesses tend to make very little money at the start. It’s only once they scale up that they actually start becoming more profitable. In the beginning, you’ll make very little profit from sales and you’ll need to continue being in businesses for a while to make up for your initial investment. If you have unrealistic expectations, then you might be disappointed when you finally launch your dropshipping businesses. Don’t just assume you’ll get rich overnight!

 

  1. Refusing to work with overseas companies

It’s understandable if you want to work with companies that are in your country. After all, there are usually long waits associated with dropshipping services from Asian countries. However, with services like Alibaba dropshipping, you gain access to so many more products at a much cheaper price, making it well worth the added wait time. By working with overseas companies, you can establish new business relationships and network with clients for future opportunities. We highly recommend that you at least consider working with overseas companies to ensure stability and seek potential growth.

 

  1. Not taking your own photographs

A lot of dropshipping websites tend to use the same stock images that the manufacturer offers. While this is perfectly fine in some cases, you want to set yourself apart from other businesses and you don’t want to seem like an average dropshipping website. You want to stand out as your own brand, so make sure you send your products to your location and then take your own flattering pictures of them. You can even incorporate some marketing photography strategies, such as showing the item in use or pairing it with some still life to make the images pop. While you can take your own photographs for a product, you may want to consider hiring a professional photographer to help you out.

 

  1. Putting no effort into your online store

Online stores can be made with little effort these days. Templates do most of the work and they’re able to give us a functioning website in just a few clicks. However, people can often tell if you’re using a template and it shows that you’re not putting any work into your online store. If you want to stand out and attract a loyal customer base, then you’ll have to invest in a web developer to help you create a high-quality website that suits your brand. You should also be adding custom product descriptions and images (as explained above) to help separate you from other dropshipping stores. This also improves the customer experience because you’re describing what the product is in your own words.

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  1. Forgetting to customize the shopping experience

You also want to consider customizing the shopping experience so that each shopper has their own unique path from learning about your brand to finding a product. In most cases, you want to show your audience that you’re willing to work with them to find them the best products in your range. That’s why you should consider setting up analytics to see what products are popular, which customers have considered buying them, and then send automated emails with discount codes and information about the products they have shown an interest in. This sounds complicated, but setting up customer relationship management software is relatively easy and can drastically change the way you approach customers.

 

  1. Doing the same thing as everyone else

It’s easy to start by copying another business’s dropshipping ideas, especially because it’s so simple to start up your own business. Want to try and avoid copying another brand’s niche, products and social media strategy in favor of making your own. For instance, you might want to focus on a strong social media presence to attract more influencers and customers. Alternatively, you could choose to specialize in a very specific niche and pour most of your budget into offering excellent products. In this case, you’ll probably be relying on word of mouth marketing to help your brand grow. Whatever the case is, it’s important to find something that sets you apart from the competition and then expand on it.

 

  1. Neglecting to research your target audience

A simple business mistake is forgetting (or failing to define) your target audience. You’ll want to ensure that you’re targeting the right people with your products, services and even brand persona. For example, if you’re dropshipping clothes for a younger audience, then your social media presence needs to be focused on platforms like Instagram since they are more visually-oriented. However, if you’re starting a business that focuses on B2B products, you may want to establish a presence on professional social media platforms like LinkedIn. The idea here is to always research your target audience, find out where their preferred platforms are, then focus your marketing efforts on them.

 

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  1. Forgetting to advertise your business

We also can’t forget the simple idea of advertising your business. After all, if you don’t advertise at least a bit, you probably won’t get a customer for weeks. In fact, there would be no way for people to find your website if you don’t consider paid advertising such as PPC with Google. While it’s understandable that you might want to search for a budget option when it comes to advertising, this is one area that you don’t want to skimp on because it provides a huge boost to your exposure. As long as you don’t forget to advertise your brand and its products on a variety of different platforms, you’ll generally have a pretty easy time growing your brand and attracting new customers. Social media can also be extremely powerful for advertising if you know how to navigate it and latch on to the latest trends.

 

  1. Poorly managing your budget

Since dropshipping businesses are so easy to start up, they’re often run by new entrepreneurs that have little to no experience in the field. This means that they might have trouble managing their budget or recording their expenses. A great example of this is having no idea how much profit you’re actually making from the products you dropship. Sure, you might be making a couple of dollars from each sale, but when you consider the price of keeping your website up and paying for advertising, are you really making a profit? You should consider hiring an accountant if you’re dealing with lots of translations and are unable to keep up. However, if you’re only selling a handful of items, then we highly suggest getting used to cloud accounting software so that you can manage your own budget.

 

  1. Having no goal for the future

 

Lastly, every successful dropshipping business needs to have some kind of goal for the future. Perhaps your goal is to simply increase the number of products you sell, or maybe you have plans to eventually manufacture your own products instead of dropshipping. Whatever your goals are, it’s vital that you keep them in mind, write them down and look for ways to achieve that plan while you’re dropshipping. While there are many businesses that can thrive off dropshipping, it’s ultimately just a stepping stone to a greater business that you really care about. Whatever your plans are, don’t let your first dropshipping business take over all of your time. Plan ahead and think of ways to grow your business, expand your presence and get noticed. This will help push you forward and can often make some business-related decisions much easier to stomach.

 

Some final words

Dropshipping businesses are, without a doubt, some of the easiest businesses to run. Once they’re set up, they can practically run themselves without much intervention from the owner. However, it’s still important to prepare your dropshipping business and ensure that your products are actually enticing for your chosen audience. If you fail to plan ahead and make too many mistakes, then you’re going to end up failing and losing a lot of your initial investment. By following these mistakes and learning how to overcome them, you’ll have a much higher chance of success.

Lisa
Lisa Besserman, Founder and CEO of Startup Buenos Aires, has been named as Business Insider’s “Top 100 Most Influential Women in Tech”, and the 2014 “Business Innovator of Latin America” by the Council of the Americas.
Lisa moved to Buenos Aires from New York City to create Startup Buenos Aires, the organization that represents the startup, tech and entrepreneurial community of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Startup Buenos Aires has been one of the main catalysts for strengthening the tech ecosystem in Latin America, by bringing global startup initiatives, development projects and investment opportunities to the region.
Under Lisa’s leadership Startup Buenos Aires has been credited as “Top 3 Growing Startup Cities” by CNBC and “5 Emerging Global Tech Hubs” by Entrepreneur Magazine.

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