How to Build a Strong Dropshipping Empire - 8 Rules to Success for Entrepreneurs
As a dropshipper, you might have found hundreds of articles teaching you how to source your products and suppliers as well as run your marketing campaigns in order to attract shoppers. However, this blog post is not about the above. Instead, we will be analysing the mindsets that you need when managing your ecommerce store to achieve tremendous success.
1. Have an entrepreneurial spirit
Successful entrepreneurs have not only good skills in business management but also the right mindset to persevere through hardships and stay motivated. Firstly, you should be open to new opportunities and ready to embark on new challenges. It is through overcoming obstacles that you can learn and improve yourself as well as your business. Furthermore, if you want to stand out in the competition, you need to think outside the box. You should not be afraid to challenge existing ideas around you because it helps you come up with innovative solutions.
2. Be open to feedback
Two important pointers for you to take note are:
Running a business is a learning process.
You learn new lessons from every single person you meet. Some of them might be helpful now, while others might not but they will surely benefit you at some point in the future.
Therefore, always seek the opportunities to broaden your network and connect with those who have similar goals and missions or ‘been here, done that’. You should strive to maintain long-term and meaningful relationships with them by discussing your common interests or asking for their insights and feedback on what you are doing. Their background allows them to better assess your performance and whether your initiatives might or might not work. Most importantly, you need to absorb the comments and constantly improve the aspects that have not been well executed.
3. Experiment, reflect, and improve
Trial and error is probably the best teacher that you could ever have. This is related to the two points mentioned above. If you have any hypothesis, do not be afraid to put yourself out there and implement the ideas. Although you might fail, you at least learn something from it (#1). Moreover, the ideas do not have to come from you entirely - it could be the constructive criticism that you receive from others. In that case, interpret the messages in your ways, then adapt and further develop them (#3).
4. Be iterative
As technology becomes more advanced and standards of living get higher, consumers have greater expectations for goods and services they buy. In dropshipping context, your products and relationships with customers need to evolve over time if you want to grow your business. Some examples include improvements in customer service or enhanced design and functionality of your products. In particular, you would need to invest more resources into building and training your customer support team. Simultaneously, you should address the customers’ concerns when developing business strategies, such as customising your product hardware to serve their needs. This might be hard for dropshippers to do on their own due to limited connection between you and your suppliers. Instead, you can work with a reliable dropshipping agent because not only do they have the expertise and knowledge in the field but they also have an extensive network of partners who are willing to make some changes in the production lines to meet your requests. Once the improved products are launched, make sure that your team keeps an eye out for any further suggestions and work on them.
5. Take advantage of automation
Automatising your operations saves you time and money (e.g. in terms of man hours) and increases precision, such as order accuracy rate. However, it is important that you take the right approach - you don’t have to get everything automated from the beginning. It is recommended that you do things manually at first, learn about the process, then onboard automation tools and add more features along the way. The most prominent advantage is that this helps you to realise whether automation is worth implementing.
One aspect that dropshipping businesses should prioritise for automation is inventory management and order fulfillment. Having a system to monitor your stock and orders would be of great help in tracking your progress. As such, many dropshippers opt to work with a dropshipping agent who utilises store integration software. This saves you from the hassle of manually sending orders to your fulfillment service provider and enables you to manage your inventory more effectively. More specifically, you know your inventory level well enough to decide when to restock and how much is needed to avoid bottlenecks. Also, it allows you to take appropriate measures in a timely manner against excess inventory issues such as dead stock.
6. Anticipate and plan ahead of time
Whenever possible, think ahead of the game. Many dropshippers blame luck for their failure in scaling. However, oftentimes, it is because they fail to think long-term. For instance, when deciding to partner with other stakeholders, you should consider whether they will be able to support you in the long run. This would help to minimise the costs and resources put into getting relevant assistance and expertise onboard.
Besides partnership, marketing plays a key role in the success of many retail businesses. E-commerce store owners who dedicate much effort into crafting and following a detailed marketing plan are more likely to witness exponential growth. The plan should, at bare minimum, consist of a general timeline, upcoming promotional campaigns and sales periods, as well as marketing communications tools and mediums (e.g. social media platforms, email). And remember, the more detailed the better it is because it minimises confusions and conflicts among team members and boosts clarity.
7. Be scalable
Whatever you do, from what software you use, where you source your products, and how you ship the packages, you should always think about their scalability. Otherwise, the process of experimentation and improvement is meaningless and does not bring any value to your business.
If you are scaling, you should have specialists, be it advisors or consultants, on board. It is important to hear from the experts because scaling adds more and more layers on top of one another and makes things more complicated. In order for you to stay focused, you need advice on professionals to run your business.
8. Be precise about your positionings and priorities
In order to successfully expand your e-commerce business, personalisation and customisation is a must. As consumers nowadays are bombarded with mass media and all types of information, your brand will be lost in the midst of chaos if you do not leave any trace of uniqueness. Shoppers love brands who care about them. For instance, one of the easiest and low-cost methods is to insert personalised notes and gifts inside the parcels to deliver a more fulfilling unboxing experience to your customers. As your dropshipping store grows, you should increasingly focus on defining and implementing the level of personalisation desired by your niches.
Do you feel like you are juggling multiple roles within your business? Let us help you with tedious logistics matters so you can focus on growing and scaling your business. Contact Xianchao Logistics today to get all the support you need. With 30+ years of experience in logistics industry and 5+ years in dropshipping sector, we strive to solve your pain points, ranging from product & supplier sourcing to ecommerce order fulfillment, or branded packaging & private labelling to quality inspection & product certification. Please feel free to reach out to us if you need to know any details about partnering with us.
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