How to Start a Dropshipping Business From Home (6 Simple Steps)

Woman working on dropshipping business

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Finding ways to work from home often leads to thoughts of learning how to start a dropshipping business. While this business might seem easy to do because you don’t have to do all the footwork like housing inventory, packing, and shipping items, there is much more to the process in order to have a successful dropshipping business.

The first question you need to ask yourself before starting this business is the ‘WHY?’ question. Why do you want to start this business? If your goal is to get rich quick, then this won’t be the best opportunity for you. You have to be willing to learn, adjust, and be dedicated to making this work.

If you are still interested in pursuing dropshipping, then this guide will show you the steps you need to take. Learn how to start a dropshipping business so that you can set out on the right path to making this a successful venture.

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What is Dropshipping?

Basically, dropshipping means you– the seller– receive orders from customers, but you don’t actually keep any products in stock. All of your orders are fulfilled by a supplier. You receive the orders and then forward that order to your supplier who then ships the products directly to your customers.

You act as a middleman in the communication aspect. Essentially, you are purchasing the products from your supplier and then having those items shipped out on your behalf. It is a fulfillment agreement.

This arrangement helps so that you are not inundated with products in your home or having to pay for storage space elsewhere to house those products. However, you are still responsible for promoting, marketing, and listing the items on your store website.

Related: How to Start an Affiliate Marketing Business

Does a Dropshipping Business Require a License?

Technically speaking, there is not a rule currently that states you have to have a license of any sort in order to participate in a dropshipping business. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a business license.

A business license can protect you in various ways and can also help to establish your credibility as a self-employed person who can apply for things like business credit cards, mortgages, and car loans in the future. Additionally, you can’t apply for a business banking account without having a business license.

Other Dropshipping Business Requirements and Qualifications

Having great customer service skills and the knowledge of how to market your store effectively will go a long way to creating a successful dropshipping business. There are no required qualifications to start your business, but you should have some knowledge about it before you begin.

You also need to have good time management skills and be able to adapt to the changing selling environment. This means staying on top of keyword research so that you know what customers are looking for and how you can align your products to their searches.

Related: How to Make Money on Amazon FBA

Dropshipping Salary or Pay Expectations

According to ZipRecruiter, the national average annual salary of a professional drop shipper (someone who does this full-time successfully) is roughly $46,358. This salary will vary depending on the area you live in and other factors such as the products you are selling.

ZipRecruiter reports that top earners make up to $90,000 per year while the lowest salary reported is $18,500. This range can account for several things such as how long the dropshipper has been in business, if the products they sell are in demand, and how well they market themselves.

There is room for advancement in the dropshipping world. You just have to be dedicated enough to make it happen.

Related: Best Home Based Business Ideas for Moms

6 Steps to Start a Dropshipping Business From Home

Woman working on dropshipping business

The steps outlined here are designed as a starting point to get your dropshipping business up and running.

1. Take a Free Training Course

Starting a dropshipping business can be overwhelming, but there are plenty of resources to help you start your store on the right foot. Check out this free dropshipping course hosted by Corey Ferreira, a dropshipping expert. During the 45-minute workshop, you can learn how to get your store started, where to source your products, and much more.

2. Pick an Industry/Niche

You can’t just sell everything and anything just to make a buck. You have to start out finding the right products to sell to the right market. It doesn’t make sense to try to sell baby clothes to a technology market. 

Refer back to the top of this guide to ask yourself that ‘WHY?’ question again. Why are you starting a dropshipping business and what are you passionate about?

Once you’ve decided what kind of products you want to sell, this is called your niche or your industry. The products you will sell have to be marketed to the right people to get those sales and make money dropshipping.

3. Find a Supplier

You have to take the time to research reputable suppliers who will be responsible for packaging and shipping products to your customers. Quickly fulfilling the order is only half of the process; a customer wants to receive their products in good condition as well given that they’ve paid for it.

Having a supplier who doesn’t handle products with care will lead to frustrated customers and a loss in business. Shopify has a list of suppliers you can choose from.

4. Create an Account With Shopify

Start your dropshipping business by setting up an online store with Shopify. Choose the best business plan for you with three options to choose from. You can get started with a free trial to test the waters as well. It is recommended to start the free trial only when you are truly ready to begin this business. Don’t waste time starting the trial and then not using it to the fullest.

Additionally, you can take the free training courses on the Shopify Learn platform. The courses help to answer your questions, show you the best ways to start, and teach you what it takes to be successful. Soak in as much as you can to learn even more about the business.

5. Build Your Online Store

Once you’ve created and set up your Shopify account, it’s time to build your online store that customers will see when shopping with you. Your store has to have good pictures as well as meaningful product descriptions.

Customers want to know what they are going to get from your store. Being as transparent and informative as possible will help customers trust your store and make purchases. Use keywords to draw customers to your site. Use content marketing to explain solutions to common problems that your products provide.

Related: How to Become a Content Creator

6. Advertise Your Business

There is nothing worse than having a business and not telling anyone about it. That method would generate hardly any sales. Instead, promote your business and make it known that you have an online shop. Post to social media platforms, advertise the kind of products you sell, and ask friends and family to share your store.

You know from experience that people will buy products based on word-of-mouth and good reviews. Get people talking about your store sooner than later so that you can drum up sales. Collect reviews from customers as well to continue to have that steady flow of sales.

Related: Get Paid to Post Ads

Questions New Dropshipping Businesses Are Asking

There are plenty of questions new dropshippers are asking about the business. Learn from them and decide if you want to pursue starting a dropshipping business.

Is it worth starting a dropshipping business?

A dropshipping business is worth it if you are willing to put in the time, energy, and dedication needed to keep it up and running. It is also worth it if you are looking to make money from home selling products you are passionate about. 

What age can you start dropshipping?

According to Shopify, you must be at least 18 years old to start a dropshipping business. For those who are under 18, parents can start one on their behalf.

Is dropshipping illegal?

Dropshipping is completely legal. In fact, it is one of the most popular e-commerce business models in use today.

Is it hard to dropship?

This answer can be up for debate; dropshipping is not something you can get rich quickly on. If you have this mindset, then it will be hard to succeed.

However, if you understand that you will need to spend time and be dedicated to making it work just like other work from home jobs, then it potentially won’t be hard to do.

Keep an open mind, continue to learn and reinvent your store, stay on top of trends, and you will be able to grow successfully.

What products are high in demand right now?

In-demand products can change based on the time of year. However, there are typical trends that stay active throughout the year that include items like jewelry, home décor, baby clothes, phone accessories, and so much more. Research what is hot and compare analytics to other shop owners to see what’s been selling for them.

Related: Things to Sell on Etsy

Who Should Become a Dropshipper?

A dropshipping business is not for everyone. It is definitely for those who are willing to learn and put in the work to make it a success. It’s not something you can “set and forget.” You have to be someone who is willing to see it through.

As a dropshipper, you would be entering into a world full of many possibilities. Once you’ve found success selling a particular product, you can expand to selling even more. This inventive mind will keep your business alive and lucrative.

Use this guide to learn how to start a dropshipping business only if you are serious about committing to the work that needs to be done to make it a success. Take advantage of all the learning opportunities that are available with the Shopify Learn platform and make your business the best it can be.

Related: Best Things to Sell to Make Money

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