As you drive down the main street in your neighborhood, you start noticing a lot of retail chain stores either out of business or going out of business. According to the US Department of Commerce, consumers spend roughly $520 Billion online with US merchants in 2018, this includes drop-shipping. More and more people are turning to the Internet to do their shopping, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down. Many people are starting to realize they can supplement their income by starting an e-commerce business, and with figures like the one mentioned above a lot of people are jumping on the bandwagon hoping to grab a slice of the pie.
We have limited resources. Our time is stretched thin, and our energy is running low, bills are due, and the kids need to be fed. How on Earth are we going to start an e-commerce business with $10 and only 20 minutes a day? We’ve heard about drop-shipping as a possible way to bootstrap an e-commerce business, but can it really be done?
Building a successful and profitable e-commerce business isn’t going to happen overnight, subconsciously you know this, yet we’re being inundated with ads, articles, emails, and videos claiming we can start earning $10,000 a month in 90-days. Consciously we know this is wishful thinking, especially with our limited resources, yet something about the video or email causes us to act irrationally and invest way more time, money, and energy than we know we should.
Here’s the rundown on how you can bootstrap your e-commerce business. Keep in mind that whatever your ultimate goals are for online retail, you’re going to have to start somewhere, building experience, cash flow, and a loyal customer base.
Whether it’s eBay, Amazon, Shopify, or any other e-commerce platform pick the one you are comfortable with and start there. All too often, people jump into the realm of online retail and spread themselves too thin, and the result is always the same.
Here’s a great example of how you can bootstrap an e-commerce business with drop-shipping.
Almost everyone has stuff in their garage, closet, basement, storage unit, and around the house that we no longer use, need, or want. Remember the phrase, “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure?” It’s so true, and you’d be amazed at what people buy online.
Once you have gathered some items from around your home that you’re willing to part with, spend an evening or two listings those items for sale on one of the e-commerce platforms you’re most comfortable with. This will accomplish two things. First, it will provide you with some cash flow, and secondly, it will help you get some positive reviews and feedback, which will attract more buyers.
Sales will be sporadic at first, which will give you some time to begin looking into possible vendors for when things start stabilizing, and business picks up. This is also an opportunity to start thinking about your specific niche.
Don’t fall into the trap of trying to build it too fast. The best thing you can do in the beginning is to do as much research and learn as much as you can. Make sure you fully understand the basics because if you want to become a master of e-commerce and see the type of money you keep daydreaming about, you’re going to need a strong foundation to build upon.
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