The good news is, for most small business owners they are dealing with small items that can be sent by the standard mail, yet if you are in need of freight transport, particularly in the Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast area – there are some good companies that are used to working with one person side hustles as well as large contracts.
There is, however a product distribution trend known as drop shopping which offers many online entrepreneurs the opportunity to remove the pain from postage, by not having to worry about it at all.
Drop shipping is a method of fulfilment where a manufacturer or distributor ships a product to your customer on your behalf. The perfect example is found within Amazon. Let’s say you write a book, but rather than pay up-front publishing costs and then storing your books in a huge warehouse, or taking up half your house, you instruct Amazon to ‘dropship’ your product each time a book, or related item is purchased.
When it comes to books, Amazon will actually print your book on-demand (meaning no upfront cost) and with other products, they will store your product at very low costs and then facilitate shipping for a reasonable commission.
The reason this should be of interest to solopreneurs is that it streamlines your business and makes it much more cash flow positive whilst taking away many of the headaches associated with online retailing.
This means you have no stock, warehousing, manufacturing facilities, label printing, postage and packaging costs. It is the most simple and streamlined way you can sell products online.
Drop shipping therefore minimises risk and costs whilst significantly reducing the time required to fulfil an order – meaning, as a solopreneur you can focus your efforts more on content generation, marketing efforts, and product development.
5 BENEFITS OF DROP SHIPPING
- Money doesn’t need to be invested upfront in order to purchase a huge amount of stock, storage, and packaging materials. This means that if your business doesn’t work out, or is going slower than expected, you haven’t financially overstretched yourself, which is the leading cause of business failure. Cash flow problems (i.e. not having enough money) are rife within start-ups, so the more financially lean you can be, the better.
- You don’t need to worry about excess inventory that is surplus to requirements (e.g. due to a change in tastes or trends). This can be a real bummer if you’ve just invested tons of cash in a new product that is right on trend, but then, all of a sudden, the trend changes and nobody is interested in your gadget or gizmo anymore.
- New products are less expensive to launch as there is no hefty investment to make before they can be sold. The business is cash-flow positive as you only really ‘spend’ money when you ‘make’ money… and the expenditure is directly coming out of the revenue generated by the transaction.
HOW DROP SHIPPING WORKS
In a nutshell, you find a wholesaler that offers a dropshipping service; you can do this easily online by searching in Google.
You handle the marketing and sales side of things by building a website or leveraging an existing platform such as eBay or Amazon, and write captivating content, engage in social media marketing and reach out to your followers with some great products offers.
Then… well, you sit back and relax.
Once someone purchase a product, it is the responsibility of your drop shipping partner to execute the order. This, in some cases is as simple as picking the item from a warehouse and sending it out to the customer, or as complex as creating a product on-demand (e.g. printing a book) or customising an existing product (e.g. putting your label on a generic brand of vitamin formula).
In essence, you handle the marketing and sales side of things and your dropshipper handles the tangible fulfilment.
This makes it a very hands off process, meaning, you can travel anywhere in the world without having to worry about sending out shipments… you’ll have more time to spend with your family and friends… plus, your life will just be so much easier and less tedious due to not being tied to the letter box.
Drop shipping offers a fantastic way to generate passive income; which is income that you don’t have to exchange your time for money – instead, you leverage systems and processes (e.g. Facebook Ads, Shopify and a dropshipping provider) to create an automated business that runs on autopilot