6 steps to start an online business

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Starting a successful online business sets you on your way to financial freedom. There are a number of strategies for ecommerce but many require large start-up costs. Dropshipping, however, is a popular ecommerce business model that you might want to try. Why? Because it's possible to make $50k or more per month by only investing $900 at the beginning. Here are 6 steps to starting an online dropshipping business.

1. Choose your niche

There are many niches you can choose from. When you start researching, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does this niche have enthusiastic buyers?
  • Is this niche trending?
  • Are there many accessories within the niche that buyers can purchase?
  • Is this a seasonal niche?
  • Geographically, where are most of the buyers in the niche?
  • How competitive is the niche?
  • What are the most popular products in the niche?
  • Does it seem like this niche has longevity?

In order to answer these questions, use free tools from Google. By taking the time to look at Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner, you can get a clear idea of how profitable a product niche will be.

2. Create a customer persona

As part of your business plan, you will need to establish your customer persona. This is easy to do once you have your chosen niche. A customer persona is a profile of the target customer that you aim to sell to.

Decide on the psychographic, geographical, and behavioural details of your ideal consumer. By doing so, it's easier and more cost-effective to successfully sell to them. Use this template for a customer persona:

  • Social class
  • Income
  • Geographic location
  • Lifestyle
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Education level
  • Values and opinions
  • Motivations

Other factors to target include your target buyer's gender, marital status, level of disposable income, and social networking websites they use.

3. Find a dropshipping supplier

Once you are all set with your chosen niche and buyer persona, you are ready to find a supplier. This step is crucial, as you will want to find a dropshipping programme that gives you optimum benefits for a reasonable price.

For a trusted dropshipping supplier, try dropshippingXL. Based in the Netherlands, dropshippingXL has warehouses across the US, Poland, the Netherlands, the UAE, and Australia. This means that your customers' orders are shipped quickly, without waiting weeks for their products.

What makes a dropshippingXL an excellent supplier?

  • Dropship in one of over 34 countries worldwide
  • Customer order fulfilment on your behalf
  • A huge catalogue of 90,000 high-quality products
  • Contactable for business support
  • 0% commission on your ecommerce sales
  • Subscription price of only €30 per month

What's more, if you decide that dropshippingXL is not for you, it's free to cancel your subscription at any time. Interested in trying it? Click through to www.dropshipping.com to start making money online.

4. Choose your dropshipping products

The key to making money with dropshipping is how you select products. Without a product that online consumers want to buy, your ecommerce venture will come to a halt.

Tips for selecting a winning dropshipping product:

  • Find novel and unique items that aren't sold everywhere
  • Use Instagram and TikTok for trending shopping videos
  • Look for popular hashtags on social media eg #amazonfinds
  • Do competitive research to find a gap in the market
  • Consider dropshipping less fragile items
  • Avoid products with a very small profit margin
  • Avoid flash trends where customers lose interest very quickly

Product research is a large part of having a dropshipping store. However, once you get the hang of learning what sells, you will have an eye for choosing winning items.

5. Create a website

While it is possible to dropship on marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay, it's recommended to sell on your own website for maximum profits. Using online marketplaces comes with extra fees and strict rules for dropshippers. If you accidentally violate the terms and conditions for selling on their websites, you will be removed or your account suspended.

It's fair to say that creating your own website is much simpler and less stressful. What's even better is that you don't need to pay a lot of money for an impressive ecommerce website. Try platforms such as Wix or Shopify if you don't have the budget or skills to build a custom ecommerce store. Using an ecommerce website builder allows you to set up your store quickly and with no coding or web design skills needed.

Must-haves for your ecommerce store:

  • Attractive home page
  • Make products easy to find
  • Categorise your products
  • Show contact details for customer support
  • High quality graphics and imagery
  • Make sure it's compatible with mobile devices

6. Paid ads

Setting up paid ads is the last step to starting your online business. Paid ads are online advertisements on sites such as Google, Facebook, and Instagram. These adverts will make the biggest difference to your sales volume by putting your product in front of a large audience. Without them, it will take longer for online customers to stumble across your ecommerce store.

An essential part of successful paid ads is learning how to copywrite. Don't worry, it doesn't take long to understand how. The aim is to write short, persuasive messages to grab the attention of your target customer.

How to write effective online ads:

  • Select which one of your products to advertise
  • Choose a specific customer segment to target
  • Decide the goal of your advert
  • Write ad text to solve your customer's problem
  • Research your keywords to use
  • Include a call to action eg "sign up" or "buy now"

Keep your budget low when advertising online. At this stage, it's all about testing your ads to see what works and what doesn't. Don't invest a large sum of money in ads you haven't tested first, otherwise you risk wasting your budget. Be patient and resilient, and you will have an advert that will increase your online sales.

Want to learn more about dropshipping? Visit www.dropshippingXL.com.

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